Norifumi Abe

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 professional motorcycle road racer who was previously a 500 cc/MotoGP rider.[3] He died in a road traffic accident in October 2007.

Norifumi Abe
Norick Abe 1996 JapanGP.JPG
Abe on the Yamaha YZR500
NationalityJapanese
Born(1975-09-07)7 September 1975
Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Died7 October 2007(2007-10-07) (aged 32)
Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years19942004
First race1994 500cc Japanese Grand Prix
Last race2004 MotoGP Valencia Grand Prix
First win1996 500cc Japanese Grand Prix
Last win2000 500cc Japanese Grand Prix
Team(s)Yamaha
Championships0
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
144 3 17 0 1 1157

CareerEdit

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 sixth 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 fifth 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 Tech3 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]

DeathEdit

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 6:20 p.m. local time. He was pronounced dead two and a half hours later, at 8:50 p.m., at the hospital where he was taken for treatment.[1][6]

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

Grand Prix motorcycle racingEdit

Races by yearEdit

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

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "'Legendary rider' Norick Abe dies in motorbike, truck collision". Japan News Review. Archived from the original on 2013-08-25. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  2. ^ "FIM Release On Norick Abe". SuperbikePlanet.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Norifume Abe career statistics at MotoGP.com
  4. ^ a b c d Norifumi Abe profile at www.f1network.net
  5. ^ Norifume Abe World Superbike career statistics at worldsbk.com Archived 2009-05-25 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Yamaha Release On Norick Abe's Death". SuperbikePlanet.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-08.

External linksEdit