Maxime Berger loses a wheel during World Superbike Racing at Donington Park

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