• Mar 28, 2011
Maxime Berger loses a wheel during World Superbike Racing at Donington Park – Click above to enlarge

There are a few common ways to crash a motorcycle while racing – most often either the extremely dangerous high-side or the usually-little-more-than-ego-scraping low-side incident – but, when dealing with machinery pushed to the very edges of its mechanical abilities, there's always the outside chance of catastrophic equipment failure leading to an astonishing accident.

Such was the case for Maxime Berger, who crashed out of the first race during the second round of World Superbike action at Donington Park in rather spectacular fashion. As you can see from the image above and the video after the break, Berger's privateer Ducati somehow managed to completely shed half its normal allotment of wheels... and in the case of a motorcycle, that's a very bad thing indeed.

Click past the break for a video of the incident, along with a brief press release from the Supersonic Racing Team that includes a quote from Berger himself. Oh, and better luck next time, Maxime!

[Source: Supersonic Racing Team, Youtube]



Show full PR text
DONINGTON, SUNDAY 27.03.2011

Second round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park in England. Gray skies and cold temperature (11 degrees asphalt) for the first of two heats today. After the excellent performance given in evidence, Maxime Berger took off from the fourth row with the fifteenth time. After a pretty good start, the pilot of Supersonic team immediately took a good rhythm and was about to overcome some of the drivers ahead of him when suddenly the rear wheel of his Ducati Maxime gave way and fell back, fortunately without any physical harm. A strange and unexpected incident caused by a defective rim that irreparably compromised the race of the French. For the second round the outside temperature was higher and the match was played under a pale sun. The misfortune, however, did not leave the team Danilo Soncini because after just a ride of the Ducati Berger was forced to retire due to the failure of the clutch. A weekend really unfortunate that has undermined the important work of the pilot and crew. Both will try to rebuild from the next race which will take place at Assen in three weeks

Superbike - Race one : 1) Melandri (Yamaha) - 2) Smrz (Ducati) - 3) Checa (Ducati) - 4) Haslam (BMW) - 5) Rea (Honda) - 6) Haga (Aprilia )....... Ret - Berger (Ducati) Superbike - Race two : 1) Checa (Ducati) - 2) Melandri (Yamaha) - 3) Camier (Aprilia) - 4) Haslam (BMW) - 5) Lascorz (Kawasaki) ........... Ret) Berger (Ducati)

Danilo Soncini - Team Manager: "I am speechless. We were forced to retire in both races and after only a few laps because of two incidents and incredible that they have nothing in common with each other. The rear rim which sold in the race had played only a few races, while the friction that has obliged us to retire in the second round had been tested and worked perfectly. An incredible bad luck that has ruined a weekend that had begun in the best way. Maxime had gone well in the tests and had a pace that would have allowed us to obtain good results. But that's racing. Turn the page, look forward and get ready for Assen, where we want to do well and we know we have the chance. "

Maxime Berger : "I'm disappointed and incredulous. I was not ever having to stop twice so strange for two reasons. The circle has suddenly surrendered and I was lucky because he broke into a slow corner. I found in the earth without understanding what had happened. In race two after the start, the clutch started to give me problems, until completely stopped after the first round. The tests went well, I had a good feeling with my Ducati and a pace that would allow me to win my first championship points. But we must not fall. The team did a great job here at Donington and with their help I am sure the results will come in the coming races. " Supersonic Racing Team


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Embarasing day for OZ wheels :O
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ha, I once watched the rear wheel pass a bike on the freeway. He rolled to a stop on the brake rotor.
      Apparently it was a known flaw on that particular BMW.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wonder if the stamped 'Made in China' mark had anything to do with it :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw the race and was scared $hitless!!!! As a rider of sport bikes I have grown accustomed to always expect the un-expected. This is true with cagers, pedestrians and even fellow riders. This however takes the cake. To see something like this happen by a professional race team at a professional racing event is just un-imaginable. I cannot imagine what Max must have felt as he twisted his wrist to full throttle, only to find himself boucing off his butt on the ground. He is lucky he didn't get run over by the bike behind him......
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's not good when part of the bike is doing a different lap time than the rest of the bike.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Im checking out my wheels for any cracks or peeling before I ride my bike.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow!
        • 3 Years Ago
        The wheel is like "Screw this, I'm outta here!"
        • 3 Years Ago
        "It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for 'em."
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see so many great clips on YouTube taken off this network. It's not available in the US though, correct?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not EuroSport, no. But we do get coverage of EuroSport Motorsport on Speed. It's usually either a week or either months behind, though. I would love to see FIA GT live, as well as DTM, BTCC, and WTCC. Fox needs to make a deal with EuroSport and bring it over here.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is one of the reasons why the Ducati went to a dual sided swingarm in the 999 (aside from the weight savings and increased rigidity). Single sided swingarms sell, though, so back to the SSS for the 1098.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't see how dual- or single-sided swingarm can make any difference when the wheel hub breaks (which is what happened in this case).
        • 3 Years Ago
        The single sided vs double sided swinging wouldn't have made a difference.

        The RIM material failed, not the swing arm..

      • 3 Years Ago
      I have to say, that is a FANTASTIC picture.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't understand a word they said.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Eugene give the mechanics something to work on during superpole

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbpQ1_ENYVM&feature=related
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