Bill Warner was killed this weekend while trying to set a landspeed record in Maine. Warner was clocked at 285 mph before he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed at Loring Air Force Base.
Warner, who hit 311 mph on his Suzuki Hayabusa in 2011, was trying to reach 300 mph on just 1 mile of pavement. Warner got up to 285 mph at “The Maine Event” at Loring Air Force Base before he veered off the pavement and crashed.
Tim Kelly, race director of the Loring Timing Association, said that Warner was conscious and talking after the crash. He passed away about an hour later at a nearby hospital.
Kelly said: “No one will touch Bill’s achievements or be the type of racer he was. He was a personal friend, and the land-racing community is less for his loss.”
Warner’s 311 MPH run in 2011 is considered the world land speed record for a conventional motorcycle. That record was set on a 1.5 mile course.
Kelly said that there were nearly 400 spectators at The Maine Event this morning to watch Warner attempt his world record.
Warner started to lose control near the 1 mile mark. He was able to keep the bike upright for another 2000 feet but eventually ran off the runway and crashed.
Spectator Cole Theriault told CBS: “You could see a big dust cloud and then it got silent… The bike, from what I heard, was demolished, just in pieces. After a minute, all you could hear was the sirens.”
Kelly said that the remainder of events had been cancelled.
Here’s a video of Bill Warner setting his 311 mph record.
[Image Via Brocks Performance]