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View an archive of races Yamaha competed in 1997.

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19976th placed ranking for Luca Cadalora

N. Abe in the Australian GP
N. Abe in the Australian GP


6th placed ranking for Luca Cadalora

Abe takes 3rd In the final round in Australia
Abe takes 3rd In the final round in Australia

The name of the series reverted back to "GP500" in 1997. Norifumi (Norick) Abe and Sete Gibernau competed in this year's series from Yamaha Team Rainey, and Luca Cadalora and Troy Corser from Red Bull Yamaha WCM, all on the YZR500. The season ended with Cadalora ranked 6th and Abe 7th. Cadalora returned to Yamaha from this year, but it was his fifth year in the 500cc class. Cadalora showed good form with two 2nd and two 3rd-place finishes. Abe was not on his game from the early to middle stages of the season, but improved towards the end with a podium finish in 3rd place in the final race, for a total of 126 accumulated points on the season.

Cadalora finished 4th in the first round in Malaysia, but machine trouble plagued him in the second and third rounds, resulting in 11th-place finishes in both races. However, he was able to show his true form in the fourth round in Italy. Running from 16th-place off the start, he brought himself up to third position, and a crash in front allowed him to finish 2nd. Despite not being able to match the pace of Mick Doohan (Honda), he had built a gap of seven seconds over the 3rd-placed rider at the finish. After a close battle for 2nd position by four riders in the fifth round in the Austrian GP, Cadalora claimed the last position on the podium by taking 3rd. A string of unfortunate mishaps meant that he no-pointed from the sixth to ninth rounds. The momentum swung back to Cadalora from round 10 in Brazil. After qualifying 2nd, he battled for 3rd place from mid-race and then was able to run to his third podium finish of the season. After getting back in form, he steadily accumulated points by finishing 5th, 2nd and 4th from round 11 onwards, this brought his position up to 4th in the ranking at one point. However, machine trouble in the last two races dropped his season ranking to 6th.

Abe went through most of the season without getting a good handle on his races. He also struggled with the setup of his bike early in the season. He began to get to grips with the situation towards the end of the season and finished 5th in rounds 12 and 14. In the final round in Australia, he made a good start from 5th position on the grid to take the lead. Although he was passed by Doohan, he stayed right behind him. He dropped positions towards the end of the race, but Doohan's crash brought him up to 3rd to finish on the podium once more.

Gibernau, who was in his first full GP season in the 500cc class, finished 13th in the ranking. However, Corser cancelled his contract with the team during the season, and did not participate from round eight onwards. Yamaha was unable to take a single win this season, with Honda won all the races.


The Riders & The Machine
500cc Norifumi Abe YZR500(0WH0)
500cc Sete.Gibernau YZR500(0WH0)
500cc Luca Cadalora YZR500(0WH0)
500cc Troy Corser YZR500(0WH0)
  • 500cc
1 500cc M.Doohan Honda 340
2 500cc T. Okada Honda 197
3 500cc N. Aoki Honda 179
4 500cc A. Cirville Honda 172
5 500cc T. Aoki Honda 134
6 500cc L. Cadalora Yamaha 129
7 500cc N. Abe Yamaha 126
13 500cc S. Gibernau Yamaha 56
23 500cc T. Corser Yamaha 11
Constructors Ranking
  • 500cc
1 Honda 375
2 Yamaha 188
3 Suzuki 90
4 Aprilia 88
5 Modenas 68
6 Elf500 60
7 ROC Yamaha 11
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