Courtney Duncan is shoving aside her frustrating start to the year and moving her focus back to winning a fourth women’s world motocross championship.
Duncan’s results of third and ninth from last weekend’s season-opener in Italy has the Kiwi playing catch-up.
She is sixth in the riders’ championship.
“I need to keep positive,” she said. “It’s a long season and we’ll build from here.”
There were some encouraging signs of speed over the weekend. Duncan led the first race, only to be overtaken twice to finish P3.
An uncharacteristic crash in race two meant Duncan dropped to dead last by turn one.
Still, she worked her way back inside the top ten and bagged some more points.
But the whole weekend just didn’t feel very Courtney Duncan-like.
“I just wasn’t myself,” she said.
“The whole build up wasn’t great with only arriving in Europe this week and trying to acclimatise.”
The Mantova circuit is sand-based, Duncan’s least favourite track surface.
“I hadn’t ridden my KX250 race bike and went straight into the sand. All that puts you on the back foot, and it clearly showed this weekend.”
It does mean that we Kiwis could be treated to another Duncan fightback story.
“With a little more preparation and acclimatisation, I’m sure we’ll see the characteristic fight we’re used to,” Kawasaki New Zealand’s managing director Shane Verhoeven said.
“Courtney’s fans have been treated to many of her trademark comebacks over her career and this is a position she excels in.”
It starts in Portugal next month, a circuit no one has beaten Duncan at the last two times the series has gone there.