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WMX, Imola, Italy, 17 Agosto 2019

Courtney Duncan extends her title lead

Bike It DRT Kawasaki's Courtney Duncan sixth victory in seven races saw the Kiwi girl extend her series lead at the penultimate round of the FIM World WMX Women's Motocross Championship in Italy.

On her first visit to the artificial track built at the famous Imola tarmac facility the New Zealander immediately stamped her authority on proceedings by setting the fastest time in practice by more than two seconds. With bright afternoon sunshine and temperatures exceeding thirty degrees the track crew inevitably had to water the track extensively before the first point-scoring moto of the weekend and the early laps of racing proved slippery and required caution. Courtney narrowly escaped a potentially difficult situation already at the opening corner when she was touched by another rider but recovered quickly to second and took over the lead already on the opening lap with an immaculate inside pass. She was content to maintain a narrow advantage for the first three laps before the front wheel drifted away in a slippery corner, the resultant fall costing her eight seconds. Reducing her deficit to the new leader by more than two seconds a lap she needed just three laps to close again to her title rival and swept to the front once more with a superb outside pass before moving relentlessly clear to take victory by eight seconds. It was her sixth victory in the seven motos to date during the ten-moto series and she has now extended her lead in the championship standings to nineteen points. The victory also extends Kawasaki's lead in the Manufacturers' standings to seven points.
 
Courtney Duncan: "It was a really difficult race but we did what we had to do and took the win. It was hot, the track had changed a lot since our practice this morning and it took me a while to adapt. I knew I was still the quickest and I wasn't going to risk doing any more than I needed to do to win. Now we'll regroup and come out fresh tomorrow for race two."