There's a new kid on the block in Rhys Carter, joining fellow Mountie Cody Cooper, at the top of the motocross table.

The big annual MX Fest at Taupo was traditionally considered the first major motocross of the season, an event where the new model bikes were aired, new teams presented themselves and riders could gauge where they stood before the serious business of the national championships took their full focus.

By the time the dust had cleared at the end of racing on Sunday afternoon, everyone knew the rebranded and re-armed 3Twenty3 Kawasaki Racing team had to be respected, with the team's MX1 rider, Mount Maunganui's Rhys Carter, claiming the top trophy.

The 27-year-old Carter caused a few ripples when he sensationally won the first of the weekend's MX1 races, but more was to come when he showed it was no fluke, winning race two as well.

He finished third in race three and was top of the MX1 class standings with just the shoot-out series of feature races to come.

By the end of the day, the ripples had become a tidal wave, with Carter finishing runner-up to national MX1 champion Cody Cooper in the final shoot-out race, enough for him to claim overall honours, finishing six points clear of Mount Maunganui's Cooper, with Motueka's former world championship hero Josh Coppins another six points further back in third overall.

"I've not raced the MX Fest for the past two seasons as I'd been sidelined with injury. But I'm feeling good right now and knew I had the speed to win," said Carter.

"When I saw Cody (Cooper) crash in the first race, I knew I had a chance. I didn't have a great start myself and was about third from last at the start, but I put the hammer down and got the win.

"It was all about not following but being creative with line selection ... maybe going berserk around the outside of riders to get past.

"In the third race I made a mistake and stalled the bike in turn one. But then I got nudged by another rider and the bike just sparked into life again. I was a bit lucky with that. I got my way through to third but couldn't find a way past Josh (Coppins).

"Winning the overall was certainly a good way to start things with the new team."