Courtney Duncan: 'I'll leave nothing on the table in my bid
to win in America.' Photo Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
Otago's Courtney Duncan may be getting a bit too big for
her boots . . . but in a good way.
The just-turned 17-year-old Yamaha ace from Palmerston was in
scintillating form as she made her senior motocross
championships debut at round one of the 2013 series near
Timaru on Sunday.
She took her GMD Backflips Yamaha YZ125 bike to 1-2-3 results
in her three 125cc class outings, enough to win the day
overall from fellow Yamaha young guns Cameron Vaughan, of
Rotorua, and Logan Blackburn, of Te Puke.
But, as the steam was still rising from her body at the end
of the sweltering day's racing, she announced that this was
the only round of the series that she would contest.
Perhaps it is true that she has out-grown competition in this
part of the world?
"I am flying off to the United States, where I will be based
at the Millsaps Training Facility in Georgia and will be
racing several big events over there," she said.
This means that Vaughan (JCR Yamaha Racing YZ125) and
Blackburn (Bayride BikesportNZ.com Yamaha YZ125) will
therefore have extra incentive to push at the next round of
the New Zealand Motocross Championships - at Patetonga in
just over a week's time - when the championship lead will be
there for the taking.
The two teenage boys will certainly be keen to taste fresh
air out front after gasping in Duncan's dust throughout most
of last Sunday.
Duncan qualified fastest at Timaru by nearly four seconds and
then led the first race from start to finish.
Crashes in the next two races meant twice she had to fight
her way through to the field, showing just the sort of dogged
determination she will need against the elite in America.
"I'm not sure when I'll be flying back home but you can
guarantee I'll leave nothing on the table in my bid to win in
America," she said.
Meanwhile, Vaughan was perhaps a little unlucky to not win
the day instead of Duncan in Timaru on Sunday.
He won two of the three races but an unfortunate incident
near the start of his first race cost him valuable points.
Vaughan crashed while running with the leaders, after "casing
a jump and then bouncing into a rut" that threw him off the
"I got going again but was last away and had to fight through
a lot of traffic to get back to finish the race in seventh
"But I'm feeling strong and I'm looking forward to the next
rounds of the series."
After Patetonga on February 24, the national series continues
at Pukekohe (on March 10) and it finally wraps up at Taupo on