2007 European Superstock 600 champion Maxime Berger lost his life on Monday 2 October after an attempted suicide one month before had deprived him of vital cerebral function, and he had to be put on life support. Berger had been said to be suffering from depression for some time and had been admitted to hospital before making his suicide bid.
His life support was finally switched off as he had no hope of recovery, and he passed away in Dijon in his native France at 18.15 on Monday 2nd.
First showing form in Superstock 600 in 2005, winning one race in the MBE team, he rode WorldSSP for the Gil Motorsport one year later but return to the Stock 600 class and won the 2007 championship, thanks to five wins and eight podiums, all in for Team Trasimeno Yamaha.
Moving up to the Superstock 1000 class he was a typically hard charger from the start in the Hannspree IDS Honda squad, winning three races and finishing second overall, by only seven points, to Australian Brendan Roberts.
In 2010 he was again runner-up in STK1000 and put in a superhuman effort in the final round to win his only race of the year at Magny Cours, and stop clear champion Ayrton Badovini winning every single one of the ten races held that year.
He was to finish third one year later and then second again in 2010, before moving on to the WorldSBK class in 2011, with the Supersonic Racing team on Ducatis.
One year later he secured rides for the Ducati-equipped Effenbert Liberty Racing Team and then Red Devils Roma. He recorded his single best finish in WorldSBK, fourth place, in race one at the 2012 season finale in Magny Cours for the Red Devils team.
He also rode at the Oschersleben 8-Hour WEC race in 2013, finishing fifth on a GMT Yamaha.
More top-level rides did not come his way and according to reports from France he struggled to adjust to normal life, which contributed to his eventual suicide bid.
A passionate competitor in his approach to his racing career, Berger passed away at the age of 28. His funeral will take place on Monday, October 9, near Dijon.
By Gordon Ritchie