The Kiwi girl was already assured of the individual World title after her victory in the weekend’s first moto at Afyonkarahisar in Turkey but everyone in the compact English team was determined to end the series on a high with yet another moto and overall GP win. And they did it in style, the lone Kawasaki girl grabbing the holeshot to race clear of the chasers at several seconds a lap, celebrating victory by an overwhelming twenty-nine seconds with a classical whip. Courtney completed the individual championship thirty-six points ahead of her closest rival and Kawasaki take the Manufacturers’ title by twenty points. It was their fourth consecutive two-moto-win maximum GP score and the third-in-a-row, an unbeaten run of success, for the incomparable 2020 KX250 which Kawasaki and the DRT crew introduced mid-summer.
Courtney Duncan: “It was so cool to clinch the title and take away the pressure. I had nothing to lose so I just put down the hammer; I had a good flow, could have fun, throw some whips and embrace the moment. What a way to end the series! Nine motos out of ten and four GPs out of five! The whole year has been so amazing. I was in a dark spot last year, in a rut mentally and physically, but Steve took a chance on me and I really gelled with the team and the bike from day one. We committed and we succeeded! I’m having as much fun this year as I did when I started riding way back at seven years of age; that’s so important and it’s what brings results. We switched to the 2020 at Loket in July and the results speak for themselves with six wins from six starts; it’s such a nice bike. I’m just so grateful to my family for all they did to make this possible for me and it’s great to have them here this weekend to share this moment. My thanks too to Kawasaki, DRT, Monster Energy and everybody who has supported me all year.”
The championship double was not only a stunning success for Kawasaki – the fifth title in the history of FIM WMX racing – and for the New Zealander but also for Steve Dixon. The DRT team owner has played a pivotal role in world motocross for more than a quarter of a century with innumerable GP victories, podiums and medals but the 2019 success is his first World title.
Steve Dixon: “The whole season was fantastic. We didn’t run a rider in the WMX for ten years but I heard Courtney was looking for a change; I put it to Steve Guttridge at Kawasaki Motors Europe, he was OK on the idea, so we took it from there. My first job was to work out what had happened to Courtney in the past and put it right. She was so relaxed this year and really gelled with the KX250 from day one. We got the 2020 model with even better performance mid-summer and Courtney really liked it. I think the results speak for themselves because this is a standard bike with an after-market pipe you can buy in the shops and she’s won every race. Courtney has signed for another two years so we can go on from here to even more success. I have had a lot of seconds and thirds in the world, even a Nations victory, in the past and now in my thirtieth year we’ve achieved a World title at last.”
Steve Guttridge (Kawasaki Motors Europe Racing Manager): “We are delighted that together the Dixon Racing team and Courtney have delivered this World title for Kawasaki. The level of racing in the WMX class gets higher every season but with Courtney’s confidence in the KX250 she could display a dominance this season which was a pleasure to watch. We are already looking forward to the challenge of defending the title together in 2020.”
Words and Photos: Kawasaki Europe