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WMX, MXGP OF TURKEY - Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, 2 Syyskuu 2023

Courtney Duncan just four points away from title #4

Big Van World MTX Kawasaki's Courtney Duncan needs just four points from tomorrow morning's final moto of the 2023 FIM World WMX Women’s Motocross Championship to clinch her fourth world title.

The twenty-seven-year-old Kiwi girl dominated all day at Afyonkarahisar in Turkey as she topped both practice sessions by more than one-and-a-half seconds and led every lap of racing after holding a smart tight-line through turn one to grab the holeshot and establish a two-second advantage over her chasers already during the opening lap. Maintaining her composure throughout the entire twenty-minute-plus-two-lap race she claimed her sixth moto win of the season and her sixth victory from seven career starts at the facility in Anatolia. With a twenty-one point advantage, and an unchallenged 6-1 puffer in the moto-win tie-breaker, over her sole remaining title rival the Kawasaki girl needs only to finish seventeenth or better in the final moto of the series. With a thirty-five point advantage in the FIM Manufacturers' World Championship Kawasaki is now already assured of claiming that title for the third time in the last five years.
Courtney Duncan: "The day started well with fastest in practice to set me off on a high and a good start put me in the right position from the word go in racing. After that I just rode smooth and smart; nothing crazy, nothing flash, just enough to bring it home and put myself in a strong position to get the job done tomorrow. I've always felt good when I come here and I know how to ride the track. I just need to keep my guard up; it's not over until it's over."
Dutch teenager Lotte van Drunen made it a Kawasaki 1-2 in each training session but was closed down entering turn one to emerge sixth. Within three laps she had advanced to fifth; she quickly closed down the girl in fourth but was frustratingly denied time-and-again as she sought a way past. She finally surged around the outside halfway through the final lap but was edged out again two corners later to finish fifth. The sixteen-year-old is now assured of a medal in the final championship standings; she needs to pull back eleven points in tomorrow's final moto to convert bronze to silver.
Lotte van Drunen: "I really like the track - it's fun to ride - and I was fast in practice but I didn't have the best start in the race and couldn't find my rhythm at the beginning. After a few laps I was getting faster every lap and we had a close battle for fourth. I was hoping for better but we have another chance tomorrow."