A relieved William Dunlop said 'someone was looking out for me' after he survived a terrifying 140mph accident at the Skerries 100 road races near Dublin on Saturday.
The 26-year-old Wilson Craig Honda rider was closing the gap to Ryan Farquhar and brother Michael in the Supersport race when he lost control of his machine after the Gillies Leap section of the course on the fourth lap.
Incredibly, he walked away with only a dislocated right shoulder and severe bruising.
The Ballymoney man will miss this week's Southern 100 on the Billown circuit on the Isle of Man plus the Walderstown Irish road race meeting on Sunday.
He is also a doubt for his home race at Armoy at the end of this month and is facing a battle to be fully fit for the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod next month – the final major international road race of the season.
But it could have been so much worse for Dunlop, who was a comfortable winner in the Open superbike race and 250cc event at Skerries before the accident.
He made a poor start in the 600cc race but rapidly clawed back time on the leaders, setting the fastest lap at 106.486mph.
Dunlop was within striking distance of Farquhar and brother Michael when the crash happened, but is adamant he was riding well within his limits and felt he lost a gilt-edged chance to claim his third victory of the day.
“I wasn't doing anything different than what I normally do, but the bike went into a tank-slapper and I just couldn't hold onto it,” he told the Belfast News Letter.
“It was a fast crash and I'm lucky to get away with it – I've got someone to thank for that.
“It's just disappointing because I was feeling good at Skerries and I won the Open race easily enough and was over a second a lap faster than anyone else in the 600cc race.
“I felt there was a win there for us on the 600 and I'd made a few changes to the Superbike for the Grand Final, so we'd have had a good go at winning the big race as well,” he added.