Norifumi Abe

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Norifumi Abe
Norick Abe 1996 JapanGP.JPG
Norick Abe on the Yamaha YZR500
Nationality Japanese
Born 7 September 1975
Died 7 October 2007
Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 1994 - 2004
First race 1994 500 cc Japanese Grand Prix
Last race 2004 MotoGP Valencia Grand Prix
First win 1996 500 cc Japanese Grand Prix
Last win 2000 500 cc Japanese Grand Prix
Team(s) Yamaha
Championships None
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
144 3 17 0 1 1157

Norifumi "Norick" Abe (阿部典史 Abe Norifumi?, September 7, 1975 – October 7, 2007),[1][2] or Norick Abe (ノリック・アベ?) was a Japanese motorcycle road racer who was previously a 500 cc/MotoGP rider.[3] He died in a road traffic accident.

Biography[edit]

Abe was born to Mitsuo Abe (阿部光雄 Abe Mitsuo?), an Auto Race rider, in Tokyo. When he was eleven, Abe began racing minibikes and spent his earlier career competing in motocross. He turned to road racing when he was fifteen and also competed in the United States. In 1992, Abe was the runner up in the 250 cc category for the domestic National A championship.[4] The following year at the All Japan Road Race Championship, Abe won the 500 cc title in the category's final year and became the youngest title winner.[4]

In 1994, while racing in his home championship, Abe had a chance to race at the 1994 Japanese Grand Prix as a "wild card". He shocked the field by challenging for the win until three laps from the finish before falling off.[4] Abe's performance impressed Kenny Roberts's Yamaha team, and was offered two more rides that year which yielded two 6th places and earned him a full-time Grand Prix ride for the 1995 season.[3] This performance also so impressed a 14 year old Valentino Rossi, that he took on the nickname "Rossifumi" and used it in his early career in deference to such a committed and spectacular racer.

Abe took his first podium finish in 1995, and his first win and 5th overall in the championship a year later.[3] His team in 1997 was run by another former champion, Wayne Rainey, and Abe took regular points finishes over the next two seasons, including four podiums.[3] He joined the d'Antin Antena 3 team in 1999, won at Rio de Janeiro that year, and won again at Suzuka a year later.[3] Abe spent two seasons on less competitive machinery, yet his race results ensured his 100% record of top 10 championship finishes continued.

However, 2002 was the first year of MotoGP regulations, and Abe did not get on well with the four-stroke machinery. As such, when D'Antin switched over to the Yamaha YZR-M1 for 2003, Abe left the team and acted as a factory test rider and occasional wild card racer for Yamaha. He got another chance on the Tech 3 Yamaha team for 2004, but was unsuccessful, and was moved to Yamaha's returning Superbike World Championship squad for 2005. Despite having less factory support than Noriyuki Haga and Andrew Pitt, Abe finished in the championship top 10. In 2006 he was less competitive, failing to score a podium.[5]

In 2007, Abe competed in the All Japan Superbike Championship, again on a Yamaha.[4]

Death[edit]

On October 7, 2007 while riding a 500 cc Yamaha T-Max scooter in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Abe was involved in a traffic accident with a truck, which made an illegal U-turn in front of him, at 6:20pm local time. He was pronounced dead two and a half hours later at 8:50pm at the hospital where he was taken for treatment.[1][6]

Grand Prix career statistics[3][edit]

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Points 25 20 16 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team Machine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points Rank Wins
1994 500cc Mister Yumcha Blue Fox-Honda NSR500 AUS
-
MAL
-
JPN
NC
ESP
-
AUT
-
GER
-
NED
-
ITA
-
FRA
-
GBR
-
20 17th 0
Roberts Marlboro-Yamaha YZR500 CZE
6
USA
6
ARG
-
EUR
-
1995 500cc Roberts Marlboro-Yamaha YZR500 AUS
9
MAL
NC
JPN
9
ESP
4
GER
8
ITA
6
NED
6
FRA
NC
GBR
18
CZE
NC
BRA
3
ARG
6
EUR
NC
81 9th 0
1996 500cc Roberts Marlboro-Yamaha YZR500 MAL
8
INA
9
JPN
1
ESP
NC
ITA
11
FRA
4
NED
6
GER
6
GBR
3
AUT
3
CZE
11
IMO
5
CAT
10
BRA
3
AUS
NC
148 5th 1
1997 500cc Rainey Marlboro-Yamaha YZR500 MAL
8
JPN
7
ESP
7
ITA
7
AUT
9
FRA
7
NED
10
IMO
7
GER
NC
BRA
5
GBR
9
CZE
5
CAT
12
INA
5
AUS
3
126 7th 0
1998 500cc Rainey Marlboro-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
14
MAL
NC
ESP
6
ITA
6
FRA
7
MAD
2
NED
NC
GBR
3
GER
NC
CZE
5
IMO
6
CAT
3
AUS
5
ARG
4
128 6th 0
1999 500cc d'Antin Antena 3-Yamaha YZR500 MAL
NC
JPN
3
ESP
5
FRA
6
ITA
NC
CAT
NC
NED
6
GBR
6
GER
3
CZE
NC
IMO
11
VAL
6
AUS
16
RSA
9
BRA
1
ARG
3
136 6th 1
2000 500cc d'Antin Antena 3-Yamaha YZR500 RSA
7
MAL
17
JPN
1
ESP
NC
FRA
2
ITA
5
CAT
2
NED
10
GBR
6
GER
11
CZE
NC
POR
9
VAL
NC
BRA
4
PAC
5
AUS
6
147 8th 1
2001 500cc d'Antin Antena 3-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
4
RSA
5
ESP
2
FRA
4
ITA
9
CAT
6
NED
NC
GBR
NC
GER
4
CZE
4
POR
NC
VAL
8
PAC
4
AUS
13
MAL
13
BRA
6
137 7th 0
2002 MotoGP d'Antin Antena 3-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
5
RSA
7
ESP
6
FRA
4
ITA
7
CAT
16
NED
9
GBR
4
GER
6
CZE
8
POR
7
BRA
6
PAC
8
MAL
10
129 6th 0
YZR-M1 AUS
INJ
VAL
10
2003 MotoGP Fortuna-Yamaha YZR-M1 JPN
11
RSA
8
ESP
-
VAL
9
31 16th 0
Yamaha YZR-M1 FRA
11
ITA
-
CAT
-
NED
-
GBR
-
GER
10
CZE
-
POR
-
BRA
-
PAC
-
MAL
-
AUS
-
2004 MotoGP Gauloises Fortuna -YamahaTech 3 YZR-M1 RSA
9
ESP
11
FRA
NC
ITA
7
CAT
9
NED
11
BRA
8
GER
NC
GBR
NC
CZE
8
POR
10
JPN
NC
QAT
7
MAL
12
AUS
17
VAL
10
74 13th 0

References[edit]

External links[edit]