MotoGP Motorcycle Sale 2011

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Norick Abe signed 1996 Japanese Grand Prix Programme

Lot No.: 23

Sold for (£): 25

Japanese Grand Prix programme from 1996, signed by the winner Norifumi Abe. 'Norick' was well known for his anti-stereotypical Japanese was with his long hair flowing from underneath his helmet. Abe was the inspiration for Valentino Rossi to take the nickname "Rossifumi" such was his admiration of the Japanese. 

The third race of the 1996 season (April 21st) Norik romped away with his flamboyant sideways 'ride 'em cowboy' style to take his first 500cc Grand Prix victory, riding for the Marlboro Team Roberts squad. 

He had made a dramatic debut in the class as a Wildcard in 1994 that earnt him a full time ride in 1995. He won three Grands Prix in total before going to World Superbikes and then back to the All Japan Championship, only to tragically loose his life in a freak road accident when a truck made a U-turn in front of him as he rode a scooter. He was 32. A rare signed item from a rider who achieved cult status even during his all too short career.