Kiwi motocross star Courtney Duncan has no plans to slow down.
Almost a week after winning her third consecutive FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship (WMX), the 25-year-old is still coming to terms with what she has been able to accomplish, but at some point during of the next two months, the change will take place around 2022.
Duncan isn’t just on top of the world now, she wants to stay there for many years to come.
Duncan hasn’t thought about how many years her career will stretch, but while she’s around she’s desperate to win races.
“I don’t think too much about the long term, I’m actually quite present and focus on the day-to-day, and then I bring the next year to that sort of thing.
“I just want to keep winning and stay on that top step,” Duncan said.
“It’s a crazy feeling to have three consecutive titles, three consecutive world titles, I probably didn’t dream of that.
“It took a bit and I still think it probably hasn’t sunk yet, things are still pretty lively and busy here,” Duncan said. Thing from Italy this week.
But there are some uncertainties that need to be addressed.
Duncan, who sealed the 2021 World Championship with one race to lose at Pietramurata, is out of contract with his British team Kawasaki Bike It Dixon Racing Team (DRT) and as it stands there is no guarantee that she will continue. the same dream with the same team in 2022.
“I’m not sure,” Duncan said Thing on the probability of re-signing. We have work to do there.
Since joining forces in 2019, DRT and Duncan have now won three consecutive world championships in a race both sides thought possible but never planned.
There were mental doubts after three years of heartbreak but to be so close, but Duncan always believed her world title would come if she worked hard enough.
“I think when I have that time to myself, I’ll think it over and realize it’s pretty special.”
Duncan’s other variability – which she can now focus on as her season has been won and ended – is returning home to New Zealand.
Duncan does not have an MIQ slot, but is hopeful that the changes the government made to the process this week can help her get home.
With the WMX schedule supposed to revert to its pre-Covid-19 schedule, Duncan’s season will likely begin around the end of February, so if she can’t return home in early January, that might not happen.
In the worst case, Duncan, who has been away from home for more than four months so far, believes there will be an extension of her work visa to allow her to stay in England.
A major misconception around athletes who wish to return to New Zealand is that it is only for Christmas and to enjoy the summer, Duncan said.
But relaxing and taking a mental break in the comfort of home and loved ones from professional sports is essential to performance as she aims for another world championship in 2022, she said.
“People probably don’t think it’s that important, but it’s probably one of the most important things for athletes to perform at the elite level,” said Duncan.
She hasn’t really faced the fact that she might not go home because she had a job to do, but the harsh reality of that is likely to sink in over the next few days.
“I wanna go home … I just wanna go home.
“Or at least just knowing when I can come home… the thought of not knowing is really, really frustrating.
“But it’s the same for everyone, we’re all in the same boat.”
The dilemma is made much more palatable by her success, but when the celebrations start to falter, she will focus on the next goal, a fourth straight title in 2022.
And his success was celebrated far more than a kid from Palmerston, just north of Dunedin, could have imagined – Duncan admitting that the support, especially back in New Zealand, has been overwhelming.
“So, I apologize if someone reads this and didn’t get an answer. “
It’s hard to separate the different emotions of the world championships, but Duncan admits that “2021 feels really good”.
“It’s hard to beat the feeling of the first just because the first three years were full of injuries and stuff, but then you kind of get the monkey out in the back, so that was really cool.
“This year 2019 has seemed to be really easy as these last two have come with their own challenges, especially with Covid.
“They definitely feel harder earned.”
Duncan may be the face of another world title, but says her success is a reflection of her team and those around her who have helped her throughout her career.
“Without them, it doesn’t happen.
“When you do something like that, it’s really rewarding for everyone involved. “
Duncan reiterated that her team make all the same sacrifices as they do and are also on the road, away from their families.
“When you see the celebrations and what it means to them and the smiles on their faces, it’s really very special because they also put their heart and soul into it.
“My mechanic works about seven days a week just to give me the best opportunity on the weekends, he does a lot of work behind the scenes, but I get most of the recognition.
“It’s cool to reward people with championships … it’s the best way to reward them.”