Bill Warner, who holds the world speed record on a conventional motorcycle at 311 miles per hour, was killed Sunday after losing control and zooming off a runway at a former air base, the Associated Press reports.
Warner, 44, was clocked at 285 mph on his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa before the crash. He was conscious and talking afterward but died an hour and 15 minutes later at a nearby hospital in northern Maine.
“No one will touch Bill's achievements or be the type of racer he was,” race director Tim Kelly told the AP. "He was a personal friend and the land-racing community is less for his loss."
Warner set his world record in 2011 on the same course, using 1.5 miles of pavement. This time he was gunning for 300 mph using just a mile of pavement, Kelly told the AP.
The Maine Event is conducted annually on the 14,200-foot-long runway at Loring Air Force Base, which closed in 1994.
Limestone Police and Maine State Police are investigating the crash, according to the AP.