Duncan to feature in NZ event

Courtney Duncan. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Courtney Duncan. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Women's world champion Courtney Duncan and grand national cross-country championship runner-up Rachael Archer will headline the inaugural KawiGirls Kings and Queens Motocross event.

The competition at the Rotorua Motorcycle Club on December 12 celebrates New Zealand’s top female riders.

They will also include Hamilton riders Mikayla Rowe, who was fifth in the 2020 national women’s championship and second at the TT Nationals, and national women’s motocross champion Amie Roberts.

Event organiser Nick Lang said the impetus to run this debut event came from seeing the Go Girl Racing Australia team make a huge effort to come to New Zealand to support major motocross events last year.

It was not hard to convince two of New Zealand’s highest-achieving riders to attend.

Returning to New Zealand after recently defending her 2019 world title, Palmerston rider Duncan, who races for the British DRT Kawasaki team, is looking forward to hanging out at the event.

"It’s cool that Kawasaki is getting behind an event for females. It gives them a platform to showcase themselves and it's a great way of getting more girls involved," she said.

A foot injury will not stop Archer turning up to race in December.

"I’ve flown home and will be spending the next two weeks in isolation, so by the time that’s done I’m hoping my foot will be all healed, as that will be six weeks since breaking it. Yamaha will give me a brand new 2021 YZ250FX to train on, so I’ll be riding that at the KawiGirls event," Archer said.

While the idea behind the event is to let the women have their moment in the sun in a sport that is traditionally male-dominated, there has been "really encouraging feedback and entries from the junior boys, which shows how much respect they have for their female peers. That's a real positive," Lang said.

He believes the depth of talent in New Zealand’s women's motocross scene is encouraging for the sport.

"The success that Courtney has had recently gives the girls the self-belief that they can achieve greatness in the sport they love and I think in the coming years we should see the rise of a few more stars," he said.

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