William Davison has confirmed his retirement from road racing after the Kilrea man broke his neck during a practice crash at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix.
Davison went down hard on the exit of Tornagrough after encountering a slower rider on his Supertwin machine, breaking two bones in his neck, plus his breastbone.
The accident forced the Northern Ireland rider to reconsider his future in the sport and after careful consideration, Davison has opted to quit to rule out the risk of aggravating his neck injuries in the future.
“I broke my C4 and C5 bones in my neck and I’ve been told that if I damaged them again there would be a possible chance that they might not heal the next time and I could end up paralysed,” he said.
“That made me think about the future and I decided I can’t take that risk.
“It only takes a simple slip off at a hairpin and things could turn out much worse the next time. The only reason I’ve decided to quit is because of the injury.”
Reflecting on the crash at Dundrod in August, Davison added: “I just came across a backmarker during Thursday practice who was going slower than I was. I pulled out to the right of him to pass him, but he was right out on the edge of the road and I had nowhere to go.
“I went over the verge into the rough at the left-hander before the hairpin and went down at probably 80mph or 90mph. I broke my breastbone and I had a bruised lung as well.
“I’m wearing a halo head brace which goes into my skull to keep the two bones in my neck in line while they’re healing. My left hand and forearm is a bit numb at times and the doctors said the C4 bone in my neck hit the nerve that runs through my arm - it could take a year before it heals up properly.”
Davison grabbed the limelight this year at the North West 200 when he was locked in battle with eventual race winner Jeremy McWilliams before sliding off at Black Hill.
He finished second in the Newcomers race at the Manx Grand Prix in 2011 behind Portadown prospect Wayne Hamilton, who was sadly killed in a crash in the Junior race two days later.