Duncan very pleased with how simulated racing going

Courtney Duncan
Courtney Duncan
Courtney Duncan will resume her push to claim an elusive world title at the end of the month.

The 23-year-old Dunedin-based rider leads the Women's Motocross World Championship standings with three wins from four races this year.

She will leave for her team base in the United Kingdom tomorrow and complete her preparation for the third round, which is in the Czech Republic in the last weekend of July.

Duncan is in her fourth year in the championship but is still searching for her maiden title, despite comfortably being the fastest rider on the circuit.

Her rookie campaign was derailed by a collision with a photographer who had wandered too close to the track. In 2017, she had to swerve to avoid a pile-up and crashed.

And last year it was a foot injury which forced her out when she was seemingly on track to reach her goal.

If she was superstitious, she would have picked up any number of peculiar quirks by now.

But Duncan has put that frustration into more productive use - getting quicker.

She switched teams to Kawasaki this season and the more she gets used to her bike, the better she is riding.

Round two was in Portugal in mid-May.

Duncan won both races and was eager to get back on the bike as soon as possible.

But while the long break might help her rivals figure out how to bridge the gap, Duncan has been simulating racing and is very pleased with how she has been going.

''I've got a good group of friends I race against who have got some good speed, so I've been training a lot with them in the weekend.

''It is as close to racing as you can get.

''It has been good. There has been a lot of intensity in training and that always helps as well.''

One area Duncan would like to be sharper is at the start of a race and ''get herself in the lead early on''.

''But really I just have to take it as it comes.

'' I felt like Portugal went really well for me, so I just need to keep doing what I've been doing.

''A lot can change in that period but, honestly, I just feel like I've got better. I've had more bike time since the injury and can bring that to the race in a couple of weeks.''

Duncan has good memories from her previous trip to the Czech Republic. She won at Loket in 2017 and can draw some confidence from that.

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