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Yamaha pay tribute to Norick Abe

Yamaha pay tribute to Norick Abe

Following the tragic news of the death of Norick Abe, Yamaha officials in Japan have paid tribute to the popular former MotoGP rider who was killed in a road traffic accident on Sunday evening.

Following the tragic news of the death of Norick Abe, Yamaha officials in Japan have paid tribute to the popular former MotoGP rider who was killed in a road traffic accident on Sunday evening.

A statement from Yamaha Motor Corporation read as follows: It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Norifumi (Norick) Abe, aged 32, on 7th October 2007, following a traffic accident. Norick Abe, as he is fondly known by motorcycle race fans around the world, was competing this season in the JSB1000 class of the All-Japan Championships for the Y'S GEAR Racing (Yamaha) team.

Norick was riding a motorcycle in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Pref. when he suffered an accident at about 6:20 pm and he was pronounced dead at 8:50 pm, at the hospital where he was taken for treatment.

In 1993, Norifumi Abe became the youngest rider ever to win the pinnacle 500cc class of the All-Japan Road Race Championships. The following year he was competing in the All-Japan Superbike Championship when he joined the Yamaha camp and started competing in the World Championship 500cc class.

From 1995 he began competing full-time in the World Championship 500cc class, where he eventually compiled a record of three wins, four second places and 10 third places in his Grand Prix career. This year he returned to the All-Japan Championships and also competed in the Suzuka 8 hours World Endurance Championship race in July.

During his career Abe was widely known and loved by the fans as a leading figure in the domestic race scene as well as abroad.

Yamaha Motor Corporation President Takashi Kajikawa, commented: "I am deeply saddened to hear this tragic news. Loved by fans in Japan, Europe and the Americas and throughout Asia, Norifumi Abe was an irreplaceable ambassador of motor sports worldwide. Here in Japan the fans were especially excited to see Abe return to the All Japan circuit after 14 years of international competition, and certainly their sense of loss at his passing is great. We pray that his soul rests in peace and we send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

Profile: Norifumi Abe
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Date of birth: 7th September, 1975

Career highlights:
1993: All-Japan Champion 500cc class
1994: World Championship 500cc class debut
1995: 9th in World Championship 500cc class
1996: 5th in World Championship 500cc class
(won in Japan)
1997: 7th in World Championship 500cc class
1998: 6th in World Championship 500cc class
1999: 6th in World Championship 500cc class
(won in Brazil)
2000: 8th in World Championship 500cc class
(won in Japan)
2001: 7th in World Championship 500cc class
2002: 6th in World Championship MotoGP class
2003: 16th in World Championship MotoGP class
(five appearances)
2004: 13th in World Championship MotoGP class
2005: 13th in World Superbike Championship
2006: 13th in World Superbike Championship
2007: Ranking 3rd in All-Japan JSB1000 class (at the end of round 6)

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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