Frustrating return for Duncan

Courtney Duncan. PHOTO: VIA GETTY IMAGES
Courtney Duncan. PHOTO: VIA GETTY IMAGES
It has been a frustrating return to the bike for Courtney Duncan.

After a heavily weather-affected round, the Palmerston-born rider finished 14th overall in Maggiora, Italy, in round five of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship last weekend.

Duncan, 28, who missed round four earlier this month after undergoing knee surgery following a crash at training, maintained her spot at seventh in the WMX overall standings following the race.

Torrential rain in Maggiora dampened the weekend and forced race one to be red-flagged after just three laps due to the rough conditions.

Duncan finished that race in ninth, but it would count for little as the overall results came from race two.

Despite the sun shining and a change in conditions, the track was still boggy and caused problems for all riders, including Duncan.

The Kawasaki rider crashed alongside Netherlands rider Lotte van Drunen before the first turn and it put Duncan on the back foot.

She battled through the round to finish 14th in both race two and overall for the weekend.

Netherlands rider Lynn Valk won round five overall, while Italian rider Kiara Fontanesi finished runner-up at home and Daniela Guillen, of Spain, was third.

Van Drunen still leads the WMX standings on 198 points, followed by Guillen (195), Valk (166), Fontanesi (163) and Larissa Papenmeier (138) to round out the top five.

Duncan, the four-time world champion, sits seventh on 108 points.

She has a break now to fine-tune things before round six in the Netherlands — where Duncan is based — on August 17-18 and the final round in Turkey on September 7-8.

kayla.hodge@alliedpress.co.nz