World champion Courtney Duncan adds star power to an already impressive line-up of motocross heroes coming to Woodville on January 30-31. PHOTO/KAWASAKI EUROPE

MOTORSPORT

ANDY McGECHAN

There will be superstars galore at this year’s 60th anniversary New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville, including now a two-time and world number one.

Women’s motocross world champion Courtney Duncan will race at the two-day event as part of her build-up for a return to Europe in the coming weeks, when she will be targeting her third consecutive world championship.

Duncan has not always been available to race at Woodville, with her international commitments holding priority for her in recent years, but fresh out of her covid-19 quarantine, the Otago rider is thrilled to be a draw-card rider at this year’s event.

She is sure to delight her many Kiwi fans with this rare appearance in New Zealand, coming just a few days after she celebrates her 25th birthday.

Duncan will race the women’s class only at Woodville to reduce any risk of injury before her 2021 campaign in Europe.

When she last raced at Woodville in 2016, Duncan stunned the male stars of the MX2 [250cc] class, topping the podium that weekend ahead of national champions and fellow Kiwi internationals Josiah Natzke, and Hamish Harwood.

The host Manawatu Orion Motorcycle Club president Brad Ritchie was thrilled to welcome Duncan to the event.

“It is so exciting, for our 60th anniversary event, to have Courtney Duncan come and race here,” he said.

“To have a two-time world champion at the event will be spectacular. We have been delving into the history of the event and recognising people who have played a part over the years. For them to be able to watch Courtney Duncan from the spectator embankment will be pretty special I’m sure.”

The Honda-sponsored Woodville event will have double the significance this year, also recognised this time around as the opening round of four in the 2021 New Zealand Motocross Championships.

It’s the first time that the NZ Motocross Grand Prix, the largest stand-alone event on the New Zealand motorcycle racing calendar, has been afforded this honour.

— BikesportNZ.com



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