Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Nori­fumi Abe may have only been 19, but had im­pressed so much with his wild-card rides in 1994 that there was a fight for his sig­na­ture. Wayne Rainey and Kenny Roberts both wanted the Ja­panese sen­sa­tion, who had led the Ja­panese GP in 1994 and taken two sixth places later the same year. Abe also showed strong pace in tests and was hotly tipped as a fu­ture world champ. It never quite worked out that way, with Abe’s best fin­ish in 1995 be­ing a podium. He did win a race in 1996 and was a reg­u­lar top 10 fin­isher un­til 2003 when 500s were phased out al­to­gether. He trag­i­cally died in 2007 at the age of just 32 while rid­ing a scooter in Ja­pan.

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