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WMX, MXGP OF FRANCE- Villars Sous Ecot, France, 20 Mayo 2023

Another dramatic victory for Courtney Duncan in France

Courtney Duncan and Big Van World MTX Kawasaki swept to their fourth victory of the season in the first moto of the French round of the FIM World WMX Women’s Motocross Championship at Villars-sous-Ecot.

The New Zealander was already dominant in practice as she lapped nearly two seconds faster than her closest rival around the highly-technical track and was quickly through to second with a dramatic downhill double-pass halfway round the opening lap. As she closed in on the leader the Kawasaki girl cross-rutted on a heavy landing and was thrown into the trackside earth-bank. Rejoining the race fifth she was soon back to third but the leader was already eleven seconds clear and the girl in second four seconds up the track. By lap four she had regained second position and on the eighth of eleven laps, having recorded a succession of fastest laps, she swept decisively around the race-long leader to move in front and eventually win by twenty-seven seconds. Her fourth victory from seven starts so far this season sees her extend her series lead to fifteenth points while Kawasaki now leads the FIM Manufacturers' Championship by nineteen.
Courtney Duncan: "It was certainly an eventful race. I was pretty lucky to get away with it when I made a stupid mistake on the second lap and crashed chasing Kiara; the track is brutal with so many lines and it felt like a different track from practice this morning so it took me a couple of laps to regroup. After that I just rode smart but it was nice to put a few seconds on them. It's pretty tough out there but I enjoyed it; it's really challenging with lots of lines and ruts."
Lotte van Drunen made it a Kawasaki 1-2 in Timed Practice, more than a second ahead of the fastest non-Green bike, but the Dutch teenager faced a tough ride through the pack in racing after being closed down by her rivals on the highly-unpredictable surface into turn one. Fourteenth at the completion of the opening lap she showed maturity beyond her tender years and, lapping consistently faster than the girl in third, she relentlessly chased down the rivals ahead of her all the way to the chequered flag to eventually take over fifth on the very last lap. She was rewarded for her efforts by retaining a strong third position in the championship standings, just thirteen points shy of second.