Today, we interviewed professional motocross racer Courtney Duncan from New Zealand, who gave us an insight into her impressive career – and her down-to-earth approach to success.
WHEEL SISTERS: Courtney, please introduce yourself.
Courtney: Courtney Duncan, Dunedin NZ, Race KX250 for Kawasaki Dixon Racing Team in the Women’s world motocross championship which consists of 5-7 rounds based around Europe.
WHEEL SISTERS: Courtney, in 2019 you won your first FIM World MX Championship title. A few weeks ago, you claimed your second straight motocross world title. Furthermore, you have been voted New Zealand’s Sports Woman of the Year. Congratulations on those successes. Can you tell us a little bit about your way to the top? How did you get into racing? You have been riding a motorbike since the age of 7?
Courtney: So my stepdad introduced me and my brother to dirtbikes when I was 7, I got a CRF 50 and loved it. I started off racing around local paddocks with my friends and this soon escalated to competing all over New Zealand and so forth. Before we knew it, I was all over Aussie and America racing.
Courtney got inspired by her stepdfather at the age of 7.
WHEEL SISTERS: At the age of 24 you are now one of the best female bike riders in the world. But you had some tough times and setbacks too. How did you overcome these difficult times? And who gives you the necessary support and motivation?
Courtney: Yes, I’ve definitely had my fair share of tough times, but in all honesty that’s just part of sport. Everyone goes through them, it’s just how you react to them that makes the difference. Luckily, I had great friends and family around me who help to keep me looking forward and focussing on the positives.
WHEEL SISTERS: What has had the biggest impact on improving your riding skills?
Courtney: Probably the watch and learn policy.
WHEEL SISTERS: You are a Monster Energy athlete. I think it is the dream of every rider to get a contract with such a great supporter. What does the work with Monster Energy look like?
Courtney: It’s cool to be associated with Monster Energy, I’ve been with them since I turned pro, so a while now, and they’ve stuck by me through all the tough times so it’s nice to have celebrated these last two titles together.
WHEEL SISTERS: Off the track: What would be your job, if you weren’t a professional rider?
Courtney: That’s a good question, I’ve never really thought about it.
“It’s cool to be associated with Monster Energy, I’ve been with them since I turned pro, so a while now, and they’ve stuck by me through all the tough times so it’s nice to have celebrated these last two titles together.”
WHEEL SISTERS: What does a normal working week look like for you? And what challenges do you have to deal with in your daily business?
Courtney: My normal week consists of 3 to 4 days at the track, and 2 or 3 gym sessions as well as recovery, physio, massage, etc. I like to also have one day off to spend with my friends and family.
WHEEL SISTERS: How do you spend your free time?
Courtney: I enjoy being with my friends and family, we sometimes go out for lunch or for coffee. I also like many outdoor activities, playing golf, walking on the beach, mtb or even fishing on the boat.
WHEEL SISTERS: Back to motorsport: Who are your role models? Who inspires you and why?
Courtney: Many people, basically anyone who works hard and never gives up.
WHEEL SISTERS: What does motorsport give you personally? What aspects of it do you love the most?
Courtney: Not necessarily the motorsport, it’s just something I love to do. It attracted my interest from a young age and now has me addicted. I want to continue to get better and improve and see how far I can go.
WHEEL SISTERS: In your opinion, what does a mx rider need to have in order to become successful?
Courtney: Firstly, you need to have a supportive family growing up – this is the most important thing and luckily I had this, my family sacrificed so much to give me the tools to be successful. Then the kid needs to want it and love it. And, of course, they need drive and a good work ethic.
WHEEL SISTERS: What advice would you give girls or women wanting to get into motorsport?
Courtney: Give it a go and, most importantly, have fun!