Bill “Mr. 300” Warner Dies Following Crash at “The Maine Event”
The first man to exceed 300 mph on a production-based, conventional (“sit on”) motorcycle, Bill Warner, died Sunday during an attempt at breaking his own speed record of 311 mph.
Warner, 44, a marine biologist of Wimauma, Fla., owner of Wild Brothers Motorsports motorcycle land-speed racing team, passed following a crash just before 10 a.m. during “The Maine Event” at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine.
According to the Loring Timing Association, which records the speeds during these land-speed attempts, Warner lost control of his turbocharged, methanol-fueled Suzuki Hayabusa-based motorcycle capable of harnessing 1000 horsepower on the 1.5 mile circuit with a mile of runoff.
Warner was clocked at 285 mph at the one-mile marker before losing control of the Suzuki and veering off the runway of the former Strategic Air Command base, which shut its doors in 1994. The Loring Timing Association reports that Warner was conscious following the wreck, but passed about an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou, Maine.
The record Warner was attempting to break was his own set at the same location in 2011. That year, Warner was recorded riding the Hayabusa at 311.94 mph on the 1.5-mile course. This allowed him to break his previous top-speed record of 278.6 mph set in Texas in 2010.
The Loring Timing Association reports that during Warner’s run on Sunday, he was attempting to hit 300 mph using just 1 mile of the 2.5-mile runway. But after a few passes, he crashed before around 400 spectators. The timing association says Warner traveled upright about 2,000 feet after the one-mile marker before crashing.
Besides a Marine Biologists and passionate racer, Warner also had recently acquired the rights to the Houston Half Mile Shootout through his newest company, National Mile Racing (NMR). NMR’s goal was to improve the popular Aero’s & Autos Half-Mile Shootout, and also introduce two new one-mile competitions at the current location in Houston.