Kiwi motorcross rider using past failures to fuel unstoppable run to first world title – 'I've failed, I've made mistakes, I've learned'

Halfway through the Women's Supercross World Championship, no one can stop Kiwi Courtney Duncan.

The 22-year-old's masterclass in Teutschenthal has seen her seal five wins in six races this year.

"It's great to get the win overseas," she said.

"Full 25 points, whether we win by three seconds or 30 seconds."

Duncan's form has given her a 15-point championship lead, which is crucial.

Last year she narrowly missed the world title when she went off course in race - the year before it was a similar story.

They're moments she reflects on back at her base in Belgium.

"Looking back at it now, I think it’s why I'm having a lot of success this year because I’ve failed and I've made mistakes and I've learned from that."

She's now a more patient rider, exhibiting that new mindset in one of her recent races where she was able chase down the defending champion for 10 laps.

"I just took my time and let it come to me and with a couple of laps to go I was able to make the pass and take the win so it was cool.

"I think they know that I'm the fastest and I have the most speed because I've shown that when I've been on form."

But the fastest woman in motocross is also the hardest working.

After four major knee surgeries, she's in the gym doing rehab for an hour every day.

A world title would make it all worthwhile, but there is still three events to go this season.

"It's been something I've wanted for a long time - to be world champion - but to look at that picture now is the wrong mentality to have, I think."

The focus instead is firmly on the next stop at Ottobiano in Italy where the women's event makes its debut.

Courtney Duncan has won five of the six races so far this year to hold a healthy lead in the competition. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Motorbike rider escapes horror crash after using fallen rival's bike as ramp for jump

A motorbike rider left commentators and fans alike stunned after somehow managing to escape a high-speed crash.

Chaos erupted on the final corner of the penultimate lap of a Moto3 race at the Le Mans when Italian rider Enea Bastiannini, who was fourth at the time, slid out of control.

Bastiannini skidded towards the gravel of the final corner but in the process blocked any possible path for Jakub Kornfeil to avoid a collision.

Despite the Czech rider's race appearing to be all but over, Kornfeil managed to use Bastiannini's bike as a ramp, jumping over the bike, its rider and the chaos and continue on in the race.

"The first thing I was thinking of was to open the gas and stand up on the pegs," Kornfeil said after the race.

"The landing was so heavy, my rear suspension went down to its maximum.

"It even activated my leathers' airbag."

"The last lap was really painful so (I) could not wait to stretch my body after the race.

"Right after crossing the finish line, I left my bike to the marshalls, opened the leather (and) tried to relax (a) little bit.

"I think I won't ever forget this race."

Kornfeil finished a respectable sixth.



Kiwi WRC driver Hayden Paddon airlifted to hospital after crashing out of Rally Portugal

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon has been airlifted hospital after sustaining a back injury when he crashed out of Rally Portugal this morning.

The 31-year-old hurt himself after an accident in on the second run at the Ponte de Lima test and was taken to hospital in Porto as a precaution.

His co-driver, Seb Marshall, was uninjured in the event.

To add insult to injury, prior to the crash Paddon had retaken the lead at the event after earning his second stage win of the event in the precious stage.

Hyundai team manager Alain Penasse said the crash happened around 2.4 kilometres into SS7 - the final gravel test of the day.

"In a right corner, Hayden tried to avoid a stone on the inside," Penasse told Autosport.

"He went to the outside of the corner and went to the ditch. The ditch was ending and the car hit the end of the ditch with a strong impact on Hayden's side.

"They both came out of the car themselves, then Hayden started to have some lower back pain, so they decided to ask for a doctor.

"The ambulance came, it took them back to the start and Hayden was airlifted to the hospital in Porto where they are doing a check-up."

Paddon has taken to social media to confirm he's fine but disappointed.

"Looking so promising only for Porta De Lima stage to bite us for a third year in a row," he said.

"To be on the pace and leading the rally twice today was encouraging, driving within ourselves and looking to consolidate on the final stage of the day.

"But unfortunately I made a small mistake to avoid a big rock on the inside of a corner which sent us wide into the ditch and of course there had to be a culvert in the ditch to stop us in our tracks.

"Really sorry for the team and everyone supporting us. Awaiting clearance from the hospital."

WRC driver's championship leader Sebastien Ogier also crashed out this morning.

Hayden Paddon Source: Photosport