From his bed in hospital, popular road racer Guy Martin has thanked his fans for their support after suffering a high speed crash in the 2010 Isle of Man TT Senior race.

The 29-year-old was dicing for the lead of Friday's six-lap race when, on lap three, he crashed heavily at Ballagarey. He had just left the pits and had a full fuel tank.

His Wilson Craig Honda super bike smashed into a hedge and burst into flames, bringing out the red flag so fire engines could attend the scene.

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Initial reports suggested the popular Martin had sustained grave injuries, but word soon filtered through that he was conscious and talking to medics at the scene.

He was airlifted to Noble's Hospital for treatment and there was applause from all around the 37.73-mile Mountain course when it was announced that Martin had escaped serious injury.

Accident and Emergency consultant Maric Thorpe issued a statement which said Martin had been talking to medical staff throughout his treatment and had suffered bruising to both lungs and some minor fractures in his upper spine.

The rider was 'otherwise well', the doctor said.

The statement said Martin was expected to remain in hospital for a few days and the doctor said:

"Guy asked me to pass on his thanks to his fans for all their support."

The doctor added Martin had joked he should reassure fans the crash had 'nothing to do with lack of commitment from him!'

The Senior TT was restarted after the scene was cleared and the race, reduced to four laps, was won by Ian Hutchinson.