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Courtney Duncan heading to Europe with second motocross title - not Covid-19 - on her mind

Back in the airport with eyes on Europe, Kiwi motocross star Courtney Duncan is solely focused on one thing – defending her title.

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Duncan is three races away from claiming her second consecutive world title. Source: 1 NEWS

Duncan departed Dunedin this morning for England to finally restart her season which, like almost all sport globally, was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It feels like it’s pretty much a complete new start to the season,” Duncan told 1 NEWS.

“I planned on going back in May, then it got pushed back to July, then it was supposed to be last month.

“Now, it’s finally happening at end of this month, so it’s been long time coming.”

After winning her maiden world title last season, Duncan's currently on top of the standings again after two rounds.

But unlike other years, she's feeling refreshed and injury-free after the long break back home.

Soon, she'll be racing in Italy in front of empty grandstands with Covid-19 still prominent in Europe - not that it changes her ambitions.

“At the end of the day, [another title] is why I’m standing here right now. It’s why I’ve put my bags on the plane to head away, to win championships and win races,” Duncan said.

“I’m not just going to fill the gate. I’m going there with a purpose and that purpose is to win.”

New Zealand's record with Covid-19 makes Duncan exempt from quarantining when she gets to England, although with nearly 6000 new cases reported there in the last two days, she admits her time there will likely be spent either at the track or at her team's base.

And when she’s back up to speed there’s just three rounds to race, the finale at the end of October.

After that, she’ll come back to New Zealand, hoping she has a trophy to remind her of why she’s isolating.

“I don’t want to be sitting in there having fallen short,” she said.

“You’ve got two weeks to think about it.”