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Yamaha press releases on our motor sports racing activities

About the Passing Away of Norifumi (Norick) Abe Oct. 8, 2007

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Norifumi (Norick) Abe (age 32) on October 7, 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 from the 添'S GEAR Racing・team. Norick was riding a motorcycle in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Pref. when he met with 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 GP500cc class. From 1995 he began competing full-time in the World GP500cc class, where he eventually compiled a record of three wins, four 2nd places and 10 3rd places in his GP career. This year he returned to the All Japan Championships and also competed in the Suzuka 8 hours World Endurance Championship race for the first time 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.


Comment from Takashi Kajikawa, President, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
的 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.・

Norifumi Abe Profile
Place of birth: Tokyo, Japan
Date of birth: Sept. 7, 1975
2007 team: Y'S GEAR Racing
1993: Champion of All Japan GP500 class
1994: World Road Race Championships GP500 class debut
1995: 9th in World GP500 class
1996: 5th in World GP500 class (won Japan GP)
1997: 7th in World GP500 class
1998: 6th in World GP500 class
1999: 6th in World GP500 class (won Rio GP)
2000: 8th in World GP500 class (won Japan GP)
2001: 7th in World GP500 class
2002: 6th in MotoGP
2003: 16th in MotoGP (spot participation)
2004: 13th in MotoGP
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)

>> The Wake and Memorial Service for the late Norifumi Abe

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