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Courtney Duncan has issued a reminder that it could have been her name on the trophy for a fourth time.
The Dunedin motocross rider showed her class on her return from injury to claim overall victory in the Spain round of the Women’s Motocross World Championship.
Duncan is unable to to win the overall championship this year as she cannot now make up the points she missed while resting a broken collarbone.
However, she showed plenty of mettle on her return.
After winning race one over the weekend, she backed up with a second-place finish yesterday.
Duncan grabbed the holeshot, as Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier followed closely in second and kept the Kawasaki rider within a close distance.
Spurred on by her country’s motocross fans in the crowd, Spanish rider Daniela Guillen passed Duncan for the lead on the sixth lap and held it to the chequered flag.
Duncan finished second ahead of Nancy Van De Ven and the result gave her enough points for the overall win at her first weekend of racing in 12 weeks.
Guillen celebrated on the second step of the box ahead of Van De Ven.
Duncan said winning her first race was immensely gratifying.
"Last month I was going under the knife going for surgery and to think I could be on the top step of the box in my first race back was a really proud feeling.
"I’ve battled through a lot of adversity, so it was cool to push through the other side of it."
Duncan said she could be proud of her performance in the second race.
"Overall, I’m happy with the weekend.
"Definitely was a little bit rusty but that’s understandable after being out for a few months.
"There’s a lot we can take away from this weekend and build on which is exciting. We are not even close to where we can be," Duncan said.
"Huge thanks to everyone who supports me and I’m just so stoked to fly the Kiwi flag this weekend."
Duncan was pleased with her decision to sit out the third WMX round.
"My collarbone was really good this weekend because we opted to wait a couple of extra weeks to make it six in total before getting back on the bike.
"I think looking back at that, it was the smartest thing to do. I’ve been able to train properly since and raced pain-free."
Duncan will spend the two and a-half month gap in the series’ revised calendar back home in Dunedin, before returning to Europe to contest the fifth and final WMX round, the BitCi MXGP of Turkey on September 3 and 4.
-- Staff Reporter