Norick Abe Fatality

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 09, 2007
Japanese racing phenom Norifumi Abe, 32, died after colliding with a truck making an illegal U-turn while riding a scooter on the street in Kawasaki-city, Japan. Abe spent 13 seasons in world championship racing, making an immediate impact in the 500cc Grand Prix class when making his debut appearance riding as a wild-card entry on a Honda NSR500 in the 1994 Japanese GP. He diced for the lead with Mick Doohan and Kevin Schwantz at the Suzuka track before crashing out near the end of the race.

Abe had an interesting background. His father was a racer, and Norick began riding at just five years old. After leaving high school in 1991, Abe spent time training with Kenny Roberts at his ranch in California, including dirt-tracking. The training obviously paid off, as the 18-year-old Abe went back home and won the 500cc GP All-Japan Championship in 1993 before spending 10 seasons in the 500cc World Championship where he amassed 17 podium positions and three wins. Abe left the MotoGP championship in 2004 and then spent two unsuccessful seasons in World Superbike. He was competing in the All-Japan Superbike championship in 2007 where he was lying third in points.

– Staff.



About the Passing Away of Norifumi (Norick) Abe

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Norifumi (Norick) Abe (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 “Y'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 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.

“I 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

Born on 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)