Courtney Duncan

2019 FIM Women's Motocross World Champion

Born on 26 January 1996 in Otago, New Zealand 

© Nuno Laranjeira

© Nuno Laranjeira

KIWI COURTNEY’S TURKISH DELIGHT 

New Zealand’s Courtney Duncan (Kawasaki) finally claimed the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship in 2019, after three years of near misses since bursting onto the scene as a race-winning rookie in 2016. Duncan stunned the motocross world when she won both motos on her professional debut in Qatar, but after two further wins, a freak accident ruled her out of two rounds of that season and meant she finished third, despite winning more races than any other rider. 

Courtney then missed the title by just two points in 2017, before injuring herself again in 2018 whilst holding a twenty-one point lead with two rounds to go. However, a change of manufacturer heralded a change of fortune in 2019. After taking victory in the opening moto of the season at Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, Duncan slipped to fourth in the second moto and allowed Dutch rider Nancy van der Ven (Yamaha) to claim top spot, but that would prove to be the only moment she would let her guard slip all season. 

Consecutive doubles in Portugal, Czech Republic and Italy set up a title shot at the final round in Turkey, where she wasted no time in wrapping things up with a dominant twelve-second victory in the first moto. Duncan signed-off her 2019 assault with a second race win, making it nine from ten for the season, as she followed in the footsteps of fellow Kiwi Katherine Oberlin-Brown (nee Prumm), who won the Women’s World Cup in 2006 and 2007, before the class was elevated to FIM World Motocross Championship status in 2008. 

PALMARES 

World title – 2019 

Kiara Fontanesi

2018 FIM Women's Motocross World Champion

Born on 10 March 1994 in Parma, Italy

KIARA KICKS ON FOR TITLE NUMBER 6

Kiara Fontanesi (Yamaha) claimed a sixth FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship in dramatic style in 2018, coming from behind in the final two rounds to clinch the title on home soil at Imola. The famous Italian circuit was specially adapted for a grandstand finish to the WMX season, which had taken a dramatic twist in the penultimate round at another legendary circuit racing venue, the TT Circuit Assen.

With Courtney Duncan (Yamaha) – who missed out on the title by just two points last season - having dominated the standings after a win in the opening round in Trentino followed by stunning back-to-back doubles in Portugal and Germany, the New Zealander held a commanding 21-point lead over both Fontanesi and Nancy Van der Ven (Yamaha), who were tied on points, with two rounds to go.

However, Duncan injured her right foot while racing in the men’s category at a round of the French Championship in June and was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the season, leaving the Italian and the Dutch rider to slog it out on ‘home and away’ territory.

First up was Van der Ven’s home round at Assen, where Fontanesi buried her miserable track record to take both races as Van der Ven claimed a third and a second. That result left Fontanesi requiring two second places from the final event in front of her home crowd and after doing exactly that behind Van der Ven in race 1, the 24-year-old sealed the championship in style with a fourth victory of the season to put the shine on a sixth title in just seven years.

PALMARES

6 World titles – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018

2017 FIM Women's Motocross World Champion

'FONTA' FIGHTS TO FINISH FOR FIFTH TITLE

Kiara Fontanesi (Yamaha) returned to the top of women's motocross in 2017, clinching her fifth FIM WMX World Championship title after a gripping, emotional and tense final round, final moto decider that ended with the top three riders in the championship covered by just two points.

Fontanesi was already a four-times winner of a series that was born in 2008 and her reunion with Yamaha – the manufacturer with whom she celebrated all that success – bode well for the six-round 2017 campaign. She faced tough opposition from reigning champion Livia Lancelot (Kawasaki) and brand-mates Courtney Duncan (Yamaha) and Nancy Van der Ven (Yamaha) as the quartet swapped victories and podium results across the season. 

Coming into the decisive Grand Prix of Pays de Montbeliard, just five points split the four riders in what was effectively a straight-up 'winner-takes-all' shootout for the championship. Fontanesi used her experience and determination to win the first moto on Saturday from Van de Ven and Lancelot, and then survived the atrociously muddy conditions to finish third in the second moto behind Duncan and Lancelot. That second place for Lancelot meant that she would agonisingly miss out on the title in her final professional appearance by a single point, as 'Fonta' secured a record fifth crown in six years. 

PALMARES
5 World titles – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017

Livia Lancelot

2016 FIM Women's Motocross World Champion

Born on 11 February 1988 in Paris, France

LIVIA LIFTS THE TITLE AGAIN

It took her eight years but Livia Lancelot (Kawasaki) finally confirmed her second FIM WMX World Championship this summer in one of the most competitive editions of the contest since Women’s Motocross was inaugurated as an FIM series back in 2008. The French woman owned the very first WMX title back then. This year, she has recovered from the heartbreak of a mechanical problem on the sighting lap while leading the standings entering the closing race last year to finally double her tally.

Lancelot’s campaign was one of consistency with important race victories in Germany, France and Switzerland through the seven-round, fourteen-moto affair. The 28-year-old faced acute threats from younger rivals such as Courtney Duncan (Yamaha), the Kiwi rookie so impressive in her first season, and Italy's four-time WMX winner Kiara Fontanesi (Honda), who switched to Honda machinery for 2016. Nancy van der Ven (Yamaha) of the Netherlands was also a pace-setter and ended up forcing Lancelot all the way to another tense championship finale. Eventually, across the damp sand of Assen, Lancelot grasped the No.1 plate that had proved so elusive for the better part of a decade, in a triumphant return to the top of Women's Motocross.

PALMARES

2 World titles - 2008, 2016