Sunday, October 14, 2007
A week ago Sunday – I was really saddened to learn that one of my favourite bike racers - Norifumi Abe pased away in a stupid traffic accident while riding his bike in Kawasaki, Japan. Known as the 'Racing Star', he was only 32 when he passed away. Fans of Norick will always remember his upright riding style with long hair flowing out of the back of his helmet.
Norick Abe made his world championship debut in 1994 as a wild card at the Japanese Grand Prix. Two years later he won first of his three wins in the world championship in 1996 in Japan. I remember that day and that ride – it was an unbelievable ride and exciting win for a young Japanese rider to win in his home GP.
Norick has a junior racing program for kids called TEAM NORICK JR. I have a huge amount of respect for him to give something back to the kids with this program.