Motorcycle Crashes At 285 MPH: Racer Bill Warner, World Land Speed Record Holder, Loses Life In Horrific Wipeout [VIDEO]

By Philip Ross on July 15, 2013 5:03 PM EDT

racer crash
A motorcycle crash at 285 mph led to the death of famed motorcycle racer Bill Warner. (Photo: Twitter/Suzuki Cycles)

A motorcycle crash at 285 mph led to the death of renowned racer Bill Warner. Warner holds the world record for land speed on a conventional motorcycle, and was trying to top 300 mph on Sunday when he lost control of his bike and careened off the runway. The motorcycle crash at 285 mph took place at an event in Maine. Event organizers canceled the remainder of the day's events.

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According to AP, the 44-year-old, who is from Wimauma, Fla., was riding his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa, when he attempted to break 300 mph using just one mile of pavement. Warner's record speed is 311 mph, which he made on the same course in Maine two years ago, using 1.5 miles of pavement. His is considered the world record holder for land speed on a conventional motorcycle.

"No one will touch Bill's achievements or be the type of racer he was," Tim Kelly, race director the Loring Timing Association, which hosted "The Maine Event" at Loring Air Force Base, told AP. "He was a personal friend and the land-racing community is less for his loss."  

Around 400 spectators witnessed the horrific motorcycle crash at 285 mph, as Warner veered right after passing the one mile mark. Witnesses said he was thrown 40 feet into the air and 100 yards down the track.

"The bike that I have has a tremendous amount of power," Warner told one reporter just minutes before his horrific high-speed crash. "We've gotten a 296, so we've got just a little bit more to go. Hopefully we can keep it on the ground."

The Maine Event is an annual timed speed event held at Loring Air Force Base, a former U.S. Strategic Air Command center in Limestone, Maine, that closed in 1994. The Loring Timing Association uses the facility's 14,200-foot-long runway for timed trial events.

According to WMUR, Warren was conscious and talking immediately after the motorcycle crashed at 285 mph just after 10 a.m. Sunday morning. He was rushed to a hospital in Caribou, and was pronounced dead an hour after his last run.

Watch Warner from the day his motorcycle crashed at 285 mph:

Here's footage of Bill Warner crashign at 100 mph in Texas in 2011:

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