Courtnay Duncan Wins 2013 Womens Motocross Hangtown Season Opener

What a great season opening race at Hangtown for the Pro 2013 Women’s Motocross Triple Crown! We would like thank Michael Esdaile for sending along lots of great info about the race and for giving us permission to share the story below. Congratulations to Courtnay Duncan and all of her team for their big win at the 2013 Hangtown Motocross race.

Hangtown Slam Dunc


LONG TIME Kiwi Rider columnist Courtnay Duncan has sent shock waves through American motocross, with Racer X followers voting her double win in her Pro debut as the biggest surprise from Hangtown’s outdoor season opener. Four days after the event, 32.7 per cent of Racer X voters rated the New Zealander’s effort ahead of German Ken Roczen winning both 250 motos (23.3%) and Ryan Villopoto opening huge margins in both his 450 motos (11.8%).

That Duncan top qualified and won both motos in the first round of the Lucas Oils Women’s Pro Motocross Triple Crown in northern California was big enough news in New Zealand, but what stunned the Americans was the way in which she did it. While the other 32 women rolled up to qualify on 250cc four-strokes, the 17-year-old Otago rider announced her presence in the field with the high-pitched shriek of a smoking YZ125 two-stroke.

Experts smiled knowingly. They knew the unknown New Zealand rider was on a hiding to nothing at Hangtown; the almost two kilometers of rolling natural terrain with a couple of steep, horsepower-sapping uphills punishes bikes and riders almost as badly as the nearby Folsum Prison. The smiles turned into stunned surprise following the first qualifying session on Saturday when Duncan smoked to a 2m 13.595s best effort, which put her 3.6 seconds ahead of the field. This was the first time the Kiwi rider had turned a wheel on the track that has been hosting AMA motocross nationals for the past 45 years.

Proving this was no aberration, Duncan screamed her 125 around in 2m 19.155s in the second ten minute qualifying session, run after the 450 and 250 Pros had torn it up during their three hours of practice and qualifying. Her time was 2.9 seconds faster than six times American Women’s Champion Jessica Parker (Yamaha YZ250F), who has five moto wins to her list of credits at Hangtown.

From the start of the her first race, Duncan was initially eating the four-strokes’ dust but before the first lap was over she had shot her YZ125 into the lead, the huge crowd following the piping sound of the two-stroke as she streaked away out of sight of the thundering four-stroke pack. When the chequered flag finally came out, Duncan was almost 30 seconds clear of second-placed Japanese Honda factory rider Sayaka Kaneshiro (CRF250F) with Australian champion Mackenzie Tricker (Yamaha YZ250F) third, a staggering 43 seconds behind the flying Kiwi.

After pulling out of the first race with a problem, defending champ Jessica Parker went all out in the second race and led the first lap. But Duncan rounded her up and again streaked off into the distance. Her second lap was a blazing 2m 19.832s to Parker’s 2m 23.952s effort. From that four second buffer, Duncan controlled the race, the fans cheering her on as she stretched away to win by almost 15 seconds with Kaneshiro 27.8 seconds adrift.

Afterwards, Duncan said her double wins were a “dream come true,” and admitted she had dreamed about winning American motocross races since she first took up the sport.“To win my first ever Pro National in my debut is the best feeling in the world. Don’t wake me up!” she said.

Duncan is following in the wheel tracks of other New Zealand women who have raised the Silver Fern in US motocross, Shelley Hickman, Julie Managh, Tania Satchwell and Katherine Prumm. With maximum points on the score board, Duncan had two more races to go before she could lay serious claim to the US Women’s title, with races at Mount Morris, Pennsylvania and Southwick, Massachusetts.

But perhaps the final word following her Hangtown performance belongs to Racer X’s The Notebook section. Here’s what it had to say:

“if someone told you a two-stroke would win a moto at a National this summer, you’d probably assume it would be a 250 smoker against the 450s, and even then there’s no way you’d believe it. If the same person told you that a 125 would go 1-1 on the hills of Hangtown, you might just slap them upside the head and tell them to learn how to bench race properly. Then you’d have to apologize because New Zealand’s 17-year-old Courtnay Duncan did just that aboard her YZ125, winning both WMX motos by large margins.”


  1. Is this at all a active site anymore ..?

    • womensmxadmin says:

      Hello Jody,

      The site is still monitored but we have not added any new content in quite some time. When the WMX events were cut back (quite severely in my opinion) from the outdoor motocross series we lost the funding that was allowing us to have some help with adding new info to this site.

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