Motorcycle land-speed record holder Bill Warner died yesterday after crashing during an attempt at setting another record. The 44-year-old was clocked at 285 miles per hour on the runway of a former air base in northern Maine, before he lost control of his modified Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle and veered off the runway.
It is not known what speed he was traveling when things started to go wrong and unclear what caused the crash, which happened shortly before 10:00 AM. Warner's crew suspect there were mechanical difficulties on his last run, in addition to a slight breeze, according to the video news report. Warner was conscious and able to speak after the crash but died an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou. The event and runway were closed for the rest of the day as police investigated the incident.
Warner was participating in "The Maine Event" at Loring Air Force Base in an attempt to reach 300 mph in one mile. Warner's best land-speed record, set in 2011, was 311.945 mph in 1.5 miles on the same runway, according to the Loring Timing Association, a record that still stands today for open-cockpit motorcycles. After that run, Warner said the scariest part was stopping the bike before the end of the runway. Be sure to check out the video news report after the jump.