The fastest man on two wheels died on Sunday attempting to break his own world record. Bill Warner lost control of his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle, veering off a paved runway while traveling 285 mph.
Warner was racing at "The Maine Event" an annual timed speed event for highly certified vehicles hosted by the Loring Timing Association.
The remaining events were canceled after the crash, which witnesses said sent Warner soaring 40 feet into the air and 100 yards down the track. He was conscious and talking when loaded into an ambulance, but died just over an hour later at a Cary Medical Center.
The cause of the accident has yet to be determined, though Warner's team was worried about increasing winds at the runway prior to the attempt.
"At a wheelie, it's really scary. At 290, if everything is planted it can be a lot of fun." Warner told WCSH6 moments before his attempt to reach 300 mph on only one mile of track.
In 2011, Warner set the world record speed for a motorcycle when he used one and a half miles of track to hit 311 mph. His record was called into question by other racers who criticized the extra half-mile of track.