Safety equipment saved Guy Martin from more serious injury in his high speed 2010 Isle of Man TT crash, the popular road racer says.

Safety equipment maker Dainese has released images of the leathers and kit Martin was wearing when he suffered his horrific crash on lap three of the 2010 Senior TT.

He says the pictures show how well his equipment held up in the 170mph smash, and believes without his chest and back protectors he could have been killed.

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The 29-year-old was battling for the lead when he lost control at Ballagarey. His Wilson Craig Honda Superbike smashed into a hedge and burst into flames, bringing out a red flag while firefighters came onto the course to put out the blaze.

The Kirmington star bounced down the road and slid through the flames. Despite initial fears he had sustained grave injuries it was soon revealed he had escaped with bruised lungs and minor fractures to his upper spine.

Martin was discharged from Noble's Hospital in the Isle of Man within days and returned home to continue his recovery. Within a week of the crash he was already talking about ac comeback and has targeted the Isle of Man's Southern 100, which starts on July 12, for his return to racing.

He is determined to defend his championship title around the 4.25-mile Billown circuit, but will be guided by medical advice.

Looking at the images released by Dainese, Martin said:

"I've only been wearing a chest protector for about a year and a half, but I'll tell you what, I'd not be here if I'd not been wearing it. I mean, I punctured a lung with it in, imagine if I'd not been using it."

"Then there's my back protector - the impact was that hard I've still got bruising on my back that matches the line of the back protector. I've broken two vertebrae with it in. It doesn't bear thinking what would have happened if I'd not been wearing the armour."

He added:

"We're talking about a 170mph crash. I'd say I got off lightly. The leathers never wore through - it's just the heat that's caused the abrasions."

"Considering the speed of the crash, the helmet was in pretty good shape, though it's scuffed from every angle where I was rolling around!"

"I've got no marks on my hands at all, and my boots were perfect too."

He also confirmed he wasn't using Dainese's revolutionary airbag system, which he has been helping the Italian company developed for race and road use.

However, Martin said the information gathered during the crash will help develop the D-Air system even more.

He said:

"I wasn't using the D-Air airbag system, but I was carrying a computer in the hump. It had GPS and was logging acceleration to get some more data before we use the airbag system on the roads."