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Homage to Norick Abe

Homage to Norick Abe

The tragic news of Norick Abe's death in a road traffic accident on Sunday shocked and saddened the entire MotoGP community. motogp.com pays tribute to the Japanese Yamaha hero, reflecting on the highlights of his World Championship career.

The tragic news of Norick Abe's death in a road traffic accident on Sunday shocked and saddened the entire MotoGP community. Here, motogp.com pays tribute to the Japanese Yamaha hero, reflecting on the highlights of his World Championship career.

Born in Tokyo in 1975, Abe became the youngest rider ever to win the 500cc All-Japan title in 1993 and then shot to international fame after an incredible premier class wild card ride at the 1994 Japanese Grand Prix. As an inexperienced 19 year-old rookie he impressively battled for the lead until three corners from the finish line, before crashing out of the race.

That eye-catching performance earned him a full-time ride with Marlboro Yamaha Team Roberts in the 500cc category in 1995 and the following year, in just his second full season, Abe became a national when he took his first Grand Prix victory at Suzuka - as the first ever home winner of the Japanese Grand Prix in the premier class.

He eventually compiled a record of 17 podiums - three wins, four second places and 10 third places - in his Grand Prix career, before leaving the World Championships in 2004.

After two seasons in World Superbikes, this year Abe competed in the Suzuka 8 hours event in July and also returned to the All-Japan Championships to ride for the Y'S GEAR Racing (Yamaha) team - with whom he was ranked in third position after six rounds - before his tragic death last weekend.

Follow the link on the left for free video highlights of Abe's Grand Prix career.

motogp.com is collating a book of condolences in honour of Abe's life and anyone wishing to contribute may send their messages to mail@motogp.com.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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