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MotoGP: Remembering Norick Abe

"To me, Abe was a hero" - Valentino Rossi.
Norick Abe, the first home rider to win the Japanese 500cc Grand Prix in 1996, died in a road accident on this day in 2007.

Abe claimed three wins and 17 podiums as a premier-class rider between 1995 and 2004.

Click Here to read our full profile of Abe, whose riding style as a wild-card in 1994 thrilled a young Valentino Rossi, watching on the TV in Italy:

"I was struck immediately by this wild-card named Norifumi Abe," Rossi wrote in his official autobiography What if I had never tried it. "Abe had long straight hair and even when he was standing still, he looked like a great character. But most of all, he rode like a madman. He was absolutely fearless. I think that that day was the fastest race of his life.

"His racing style made me think he was an absolute nutter. He took turns with his steering locked, and often had to keep himself up with his knee. His suit was usually smoking, and he overtook in the most outrageous spots. His steering finally gave out and he fell... But to me, Abe was a hero."

Tagged as: abe

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Factory test rider Norick Abe replaced the injured Marco Melandri at the Fortuna Yamaha Team in the Japanese Grand Prix.
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October 07, 2014 2:48 PM
Last Edited 139 days ago

Ah the Blue Fox kid who frightened Doohan, then he lasted about 5 minutes on his Yamaha Debut at Donington after Rainey poached him from under Honda's nose (and before anyone says I know he rode for Roberts but his contract was with Rainey). His first win at Suzuka was pure emotion, the bollard Foggy used to slag him as only a Suzuka rider but he visited the podium 17 times, and his last lap dive under Biaggi at Rio was a joy. Sadly the 4t era didn't work for him. Will always be remembered for his upright with leg out style and his locks blowing behind the helmet. Very much missed.


October 07, 2014 10:55 PM

Agree with the sentiment here. Abe was an awesome racer and a great personality. Was very sad hearing the news of his death, such an unfortunate way to go. He was a rider till the end and had a genuine love for two wheels. RIP Norifumi

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