motorcycle racer dies in crashLand speed racer legend, Bill Warner, died at about 11:15 Sunday morning after crashing his motorcycle in Limestone, Maine. Local police officials confirm that Warner was attempting to set a new land speed record when he lost control of his motorcycle and veered off the track.
Warner was racing at the former Loring Air Force base in Aroostook County, and was clocked at 285 mph when he apparently veered right and hit a runway lamp. Witnesses say that Warner was thrown about 40 feet in the air before he landed. He was reportedly conscious and talking after the accident which happened at about 9:45 a.m.; however, Warner died later at the hospital.
The Loring Timing Association, which has been leasing the runway from The Loring Redevelopment Authority for the past five years, was hosting The Maine Event. Race director, Tim Kelly, said that the smooth surface of the concrete and asphalt runway at the former Air Force base is considered to be one of the best tracks in the world. It is also the longest track of its type, in the world. The Loring Timing Association website reports that the runway is 300 feet wide and 14,200 feet long, just over two and a half miles.
It was on this track in 2011, that Warner became the first person to go over 300 mph on a sit-up bike. He set the record at 311 mph over a distance of 1.5 miles. On Sunday morning, he had made a few practice runs on his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa before attempting to set the new record of exceeding 300 mph in just one mile.
Joe Timney, who also races motorcycles, had known Warner for years and spoke with him by telephone a few times a week. “The news (of his death) spread very quickly around the world. Literally, everyone’s eyes were on Bill this weekend,” Timney said.
Warner, who was not married and had no children, lived in Wimauma, Florida. He was a marine biologist who enjoyed raising tropical fish.
“No one will touch Bill’s achievements or be the type of racer he was,” Tim Kelly told the Associated Press. “He was a personal friend and the land racing community is less for his loss.”
At Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®, we are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Bill Warner. He was a true motorcyclist and his love and dedication to the sport of motorcycling was apparent to all who knew him. The sport of motorcycling will not be the same without him.