Courtney Duncan dominates in Turkey to Clinch her 4th WMX World Title – Report, Results, Video Highlights
The last Round of the 2023 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship closed in Turkey and displayed a thrilling and intense show for the Turkish crowd.
Words & Images: InFront Media
In the end, we witnessed Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Courtney Duncan finish the season in style with an overall win to get crowned FIM Women’s Motocross World Champion for the fourth time in her career in front of her family, who made the long journey to support her and celebrate the title. RFME GASGAS WMX Team’s Daniela Guillen finished this successful season with the Silver Medal while the young Lotte Van Drunen earned the Bronze Medal in her first full season.
The dominance of the Kiwi rider showed again in Afyon where she won the second race to take the overall victory in front of a solid Fantic Racing MX’s Lynn Valk who gets a back-to-back podium. Rounding out the podium was Larissa Papenmeier who fought hard to get her first podium of the season.
In Race 1, it was Courtney Duncan who took the best start and made sure that she had her destiny in her own hands. Duncan powered through to get in front quickly while Larissa Papenmeier made an outstanding start to go 2nd early on. Duncan quickly opened up a considerable lead over Papenmeier and increased it during the race to nearly 11 seconds. No one could stop the Kiwi from winning the first race and have virtually one hand on the WMX World Title.
Papenmeier stayed solid for the whole moto as she had to keep Daniela Guillen at bay earlier in the race. Papenmeier continued in 2nd place until the end. Guillen on her part tried to put pressure on Papenmeier but got caught by Lynn Valk on lap 2 of 12. Valk capitalised on Guillen’s focus at the front to launch an attack and pass the Spanish rider. However a lap later Valk made a mistake and Guillen took the inside to take back the 3rd place. From then on, Guillen worked hard to pass Papenmeier without success and settled for 3rd while Valk finished 4th after an intense battle with Lotte Van Drunen.
Third in the Championship, Van Drunen didn’t get the best start and found herself in 7th on the opening lap. The recent winner of the Dutch GP managed to overtake Sara Andersen for 6th on lap 2 and then kept charging forward and powered past JK Racing Yamaha’s Charli Cannon for 5th a lap later. Van Drunen finished very strongly as she pushed to overtake Valk until the last moment. Van Drunen rode faster than everyone towards the end of the race and caught up with Valk, passing her during the last lap, but Valk answered straight back to just hold on to 4th place! Van Drunen in the end finished in 5th, while Cannon settled for 6th and Andersen for 7th.
In Race 2, Valk took the fastest start of the pack and controlled the race from the get go. Valk looked impressive as she pulled away quickly and went on to win the race very comfortably for a 4-1 scorecrard, climbing to the second step of the overall podium. While Valk was minding her own race in front, Duncan started well, 3rd on the opening lap, knowing that she needed at least a 17th place to win the WMX Title. That fact didn’t stop the new WMX World Champion to fight and push behind Andersen who got a great start in 2nd position. It took Duncan until lap 5 of 10 to catch up with the Danish rider and get the best drive out of a jump to pass Andersen for 2nd. Nothing would stop Duncan who rode in control of the 2nd position until the end to win the Turkish round and with it clinch the 2023 FIM WMX World Championship in front of all of her family coming across to celebrate this beautiful moment.
Andersen managed to hold onto the 3rd place for her personal best finish this season. It wasn’t enough for the podium but Andersen finished an excellent 4th overall. Behind her was Papenmeier who showed that she was on from again after missing on the last round in The Netherlands. She displayed a great performance after an average start in 7th on the opening lap. The German was determined get her first podium of the season as she charged forward to overake Shana Van Der Vlist and capitalised on Britt Jans-Beken fall to move up into 5th on lap 4. She kept pushing and overtook RFME GasGas WMX Team’s Gabriela Seisdedos to move up to 4th on lap 9 and finished there to get on the third step of the podium.
Van Der Vlist ended at the 5th place for 7th overall while Jans-Beken finished 9th after a fall for 9th overall. Seisdedos managed to finish at a good 6th place and her best finish of the season for 8th overall in the end.
Unfortunately, Cannon didn’t take part in the second race of the Turkish round due to feeling unwell between Saturday and Sunday. MX Fonta Racing’s Kiara Fontanesi didn’t make the journey to Turkiye to focus on the preparation for next season.
Courtney Duncan : “What a season, honestly! Four overall round wins and a fourth WMX World Title. As a little kid I would not even dream of this but get four World Title is so special. It is amazing to give back to the person who believed in you like my family and the team. I’m going to enjoy this. My mum is here so I’m gonna share that moment with with some other family friend. I’m losing the words and I don’t really know what else to say but I am so grateful for this moment.”
WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), 25:41.482; 2. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:10.062; 3. Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), +0:12.561; 4. Lynn Valk (NED, Fantic), +0:14.110; 5. Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Kawasaki), +0:14.856; 6. Charli Cannon (AUS, Yamaha), +0:41.945; 7. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +0:49.249; 8. Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha), +1:09.330; 9. Gabriela Seisdedos (ESP, GASGAS), +1:15.227; 10. Mathea Seleboe (NOR, Yamaha), +1:18.306
WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Lynn Valk (NED, Fantic), 26:02.829; 2. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +1:15.192; 3. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:19.612; 4. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +2:29.881; 5. Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha), +2:56.633; 6. Gabriela Seisdedos (ESP, GASGAS), +3:00.906; 7. Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 8. Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), -1 lap(s); 9. Britt Jans-Beken (NED, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 10. Jamie Astudillo (USA, KTM), -1 lap(s)
WMX – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 47 points; 2. Lynn Valk (NED, FAN), 43 p.; 3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 40 p.; 4. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 34 p.; 5. Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 33 p.; 6. Lotte Van Drunen (NED, KAW), 30 p.; 7. Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 29 p.; 8. Gabriela Seisdedos (ESP, GAS), 27 p.; 9. Britt Jans-Beken (NED, YAM), 21 p.; 10. Jamie Astudillo (USA, KTM), 19 p
WMX – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 270 points; 2. Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 240 p.; 3. Lotte Van Drunen (NED, KAW), 230 p.; 4. Lynn Valk (NED, FAN), 211 p.; 5. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 166 p.; 6. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 157 p.; 7. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 145 p.; 8. Britt Jans-Beken (NED, YAM), 130 p.; 9. Charli Cannon (AUS, YAM), 106 p.; 10. Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 98 p
WMX – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Kawasaki, 292 points; 2. GASGAS, 250 p.; 3. Yamaha, 217 p.; 4. Fantic, 211 p.; 5. KTM, 167 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 82 p.; 7. Honda, 34 p