4 April 2022
New Zealand motocross rider Courtney Duncan knows what tough times feel like and unfortunately her start to the 2022 World Women’s Motocross Championship (WMX) has been a rough one.
While riding in the free practice session at the second round’s MXGP of Portugal on Saturday, the three-time, consecutive world champion had a heavy fall from her Kawasaki KX250.
“I had a big crash early on in practice and although I finished the session, I was in pain, so I had X-rays at the track. They showed a break to my collarbone. I lined up for the first race but due to FIM rules I was unable to ride and got withdrawn.”
Duncan has been quick to act, mindful there is still a six-week gap until the third WMX round in Sardinia on May 14.
“At this stage we are unsure of the full extent of the injury, however I’ve already arrived in Belgium where I’m scheduled to meet with the surgeon tomorrow to decide what the next step is.”
This misfortune comes on the back of an uncharacteristically low-placed first round, where the best Duncan (25) could manage was sixth place overall. She had arrived late in Europe and on the back foot after visa hold-up issues left her with no time to properly prepare for the intensity of world-class competition.
Lady luck didn’t look after Duncan following the Italian round and a shoulder injury incurred in training soon afterwards meant she had not been able to train for several weeks before Portugal.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow and injuries never get easier. However, that’s sport, it doesn’t always go your way and shit happens. Tomorrow is another day and I’ll wake up, lace my shoes up and give it 100 percent, just like I always do.”
Kawasaki New Zealand’s General Manager Mike Cotter says: “It was a real shame to hear of Courtney’s injury. Her champion nature and resolve will ensure she will be back behind the gate and fighting for wins again this season. I wish her all the best with her recovery.”
Round 1: Saturday 5 March, MXGP of Lombardia, Mantova, Italy.
Round 2: Saturday 2 April, MXGP of Portugal, Agueda.
Round 3: Saturday 14 May, MXGP of Sardegna, Riola Sardo, Sardinia.
Round 4: Saturday 28 May, MXGP of Spain, intu Xanadú.
Round 5: Saturday 20 August, MXGP of Charente Maritime, St Jean d’Angely, France.
Round 6: Saturday 3 September, MXGP of Turkey, Afyonkarahisar.
Photo: Monster Energy