Whakatane's Darren Capill could be called an accidental champion.

The 45-year-old motorcycle dealership manager was one of the last people to learn he'd won the MX3 class at the four-round New Zealand Motocross Championships, which wrapped up at Taupo on Saturday.

If it wasn't for a friend's phone call, he would probably still be in the dark.

"I didn't go to the prize-giving celebrations after Saturday's racing," Capill said.


"But I got a cellphone call from a mate who was there to tell me I'd won the MX3 class overall for the series.

"It was a huge surprise. Although I'd won the day at the final round, I didn't think I'd done enough to win the class outright.

"I hadn't raced the first round [in Timaru in February] because of work commitments, so I was really playing catch-up in points throughout the series."

Capill started the day at Taupo ranked only fifth overall on the series table, but when he took his 2013-model Yamaha YZ450F to finish 2-1-1 at Taupo on Saturday he'd incredibly done enough to move up five places, overtaking series leader Ben Lightfoot, of Matamata, and clinching the MX3 class win overall.

Capill wrapped up the win by finishing the series five points ahead of Lightfoot.

"It's not a true championship ... really just a support class," Capill explained.

"But it's still nice to win. Work commitments kept me from round one and I really had not intended on racing at round three at Pukekohe either. Somehow I managed to be at Pukekohe and so I thought I may as well finish off the rest of the series too. I'm glad I did.

"I pretty much grew up on the Taupo track, so that was like home to me.


"I was looking forward to banging handlebars again with [fellow Yamaha ace] Chris Power, but he didn't make it to Taupo. He was away racing the New Zealand Enduro Championships in Riverhead Forest.

"There were a couple of young guys going pretty fast at Taupo, but I got my lines sorted out early on and, after finishing runner-up [to Taupo Yamaha rider Logan Comer] in the first race, I managed to win the next two."