VIDEO: The shocking moment a motorcyclist was flung through the air - at nearly 120mph

This is the shocking moment a motorcyclist crashed and was flung through the air - at nearly 120mph.

Nicholas Pannell, 29, was racing through traffic alongside fellow rider Joshua Illingworth, 30, at up to three times the speed limit.

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The GoPro footage from Pannell's helmet cam shows moments before the impact, he races away from his pal, who tried and keep up.

But Pannell steers into the corner too early, missing the apex and hitting the grass verge which catapults him from his 1,100CC KTM motorbike.

Both Illingworth, from Paignton, Devon, and Pannell, from Plymouth, Devon, narrowly avoided jail sentences when they appeared at Plymouth Crown Court.

They were brought to justice after police were called to the scene of the crash, near Modbury, Devon, and found Pannell's detached GoPro on July 2 last year.

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While Pannell was recovering in Derriford Hospital, after suffering a fracture to his clavicle, fractures to his ribs and damage to his ventricle, police pored over the footage.

Prosecutor Nigel Hall told Plymouth Crown Court that the video showed the pair "effectively racing through lanes of Devon and South Hams" for 15 miles.

He told Recorder Simon Levene that the list of violations during the ride was so long that investigating officers gave up writing them all.

Sgt Olly Tayler said the case was "one of the worst cases of dangerous driving I've investigated".

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Speaking after they were given suspended sentences, he said: "It was nothing more than sheer luck that it didn't end in a fatality or multiple fatality.

"The standard of riding was appalling.

"As a roads police officer and motorbike rider, I was genuinely shocked when I saw the footage.

"The potential consequences could've been completely catastrophic, not just for them, but for other roads users.

"This was a sunny Sunday afternoon in July and there was a lot of traffic out. The roads were not deserted at all.

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"It's absolutely right that they were dealt with at the Crown Court.

Speed warning

"The sentence is a clear warning for those people who think it's acceptable to ride in this manner.

"It will not be tolerated. You will be prosecuted and you will end up in prison if not seriously injured or killed."

The footage begins with Pannell climbing aboard his powerful KTM bike and setting off from Plympton.

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Prosecutor Nigel Hall told the court that the speedometer on Pannell's KTM read 90mph in a 30mph zone, 102mph in a 40mph zone and a staggering 118mph on country roads where the national speed limit applied.

At times Pannell can be heard on the audio track of the GoPro, which was mounted on the side of his helmet, swearing at other drivers as he overtook at speed.

As Illingworth raced ahead, with Pannell attempting to keep up, the KTM rider was heard shouting "mate, it's f****** blind-arse corners man" and "that c***'* mental".

The KTM and BMW are seen to frequently overtake in the face of oncoming traffic, crossing over single and even double white lines.

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As the 13 minute video was played in court Pannell watched it closely from the dock while Illingworth looked down throughout.

At one point, as he sped along a country road at 90mph, Pannell was heard laughing and saying: "I don't even know what road this is".

After reaching 111mph he catches up with Illingworth who gives him the thumbs up sign.

Pannell was then heard saying "This guy is loving it. Have to get his email address and send him this video... where the f*** are we?"

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As he reaches 110mph on his speedometer he is heard to say he brakes when he saw Illingworth brake, adding: "I don't know what's around the corner."

Moments later, as he races over three SLOW signs on the road, Pannell careered to the left hand side of the road on a bend.

As he shouted "Oh s***, oh s***, s***, s***", he hit and ran over a soft hedge and, hurtling into the field behind, was thrown from his bike.

Drive danger

Illingworth and Pannell both pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at a hearing on January 3.

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Ali Rafati, for Illingworth said his client "understands the utter stupidity of his conduct", nothing how he had no previous convictions and was a man of good character.

He said his client felt he had "brought shame upon him self and his family" and was prepared to carry out "humbling work" as punishment.

The court heard they had both been of previous good character and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Both were sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, disqualified from driving for 12 months, ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid and pay a victim surcharge of £140.

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