Kiwi motocross rider Courtney Duncan has reclaimed the Women’s Motocross World Championship lead following her win overnight in Turkey.
The defending world champion now heads Italian rider Kiara Fontanesi by 15 points as the season crosses its halfway mark.
Meetings are split into two races, with an overall weekend victor determined by combined points.
In the first race, Duncan got the holeshot and sustained an early advantage in the race lead.
At one stage, Duncan was six seconds clear of Fontanesi in second.
However, Fontanesi quickly reeled in the leading Kawaski and made her move for the lead on lap eight.
Determined to fight back, Duncan stayed latched onto Fontanesi’s tail before a rare mistake had her slip off the track.
Ultimately, Duncan settled for second at the chequered flag in race one.
“I lost about 12 seconds, so I gave up too much time there but salvaged second,” Duncan said.
Duncan was unable to replicate her lightning start in race two and was third after the opening lap.
She muscled herself past Dutch rider Nancy Van De Ven and was soon catching Fontanesi for the lead.
The margin ebbed and flowed as both riders made mistakes while jostling for position.
With two laps to go, Fontanesi seemed to have had Duncan covered in all areas of the track.
However, Fontanesi soon felt Duncan’s lurking presence and made several small errors that allowed her rival to trim the gap.
With less than a lap remaining, Duncan made her move for the lead.
“I rode patient and stayed composed out there,” she said.
“Then I saw the one lap card come up and knew if I wanted to have a go, I had to do it now.”
Her opportunity came at the penultimate corner when she levelled herself next to Fontanesi.
Duncan committed herself to the outside line for the final bend and gave Fontanesi minimal room to play with as she soared to the win.
“I was very stoked to get that win in the second race,” Duncan said.
“Going 2-1 for the overall and taking the red plate back. Can’t go too much better than that.”
There is not much time between rounds for Duncan as she remains in Turkey for the fourth leg of the season on Tuesday.