Record-setting motorcycle racer killed in high-speed crash

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 8:58am

Bill Warner was traveling at nearly 300 miles per hour when he crashed.

A crash has killed a Florida man who set the world record for the fastest speed on a motorcycle two years ago.

Bill Warner was in Maine for the weekend and on Sunday he was killed during a speed-trial. Earlier in the morning, Warner began making his runs and was reaching speeds of 296 miles per hour. Prior to his last run, he and his crew were worried about the gentle, but increasing winds. Just minutes before the crash he spoke with WCSH.

"The bike that I have has a tremendous amount of power. So, by getting the 300 we just can't turn up the power. We're actually turning it down to try and get the bike to settle down and now after we've turned it down enough that I can handle it, just turn it up a little bit at a time and we've gotten a 296. So, we've got a little bit more to go, but hopefully we can keep it on the ground."

As he came to the line for the last time, he had the respect of the fans in the stands. He had been seriously injured in an accident in Texas a year ago, but he came back to time trials which added to his reputation as a well-conditioned and tough competitor.

Experienced racers suspected mechanical difficulties on Warner's last run. He was going 287 at the mile marker when his bike suddenly veered hard to the right and went off the runway. Witnesses said he was launched 40 feet into the air and 100 yards down the track. Warner was conscious and talking as he was taken to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead at Carey Medical Center at 11:15 a.m., which was about an hour after his fateful run.  

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