Japanese triumph

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Motorcycling

Norifumi Abe won the Japan Grand Prix at Suzuka yesterday, becoming the first Japanese to take a 500cc race for 14 years.

For a nation which boasts some of the world's most famous motorcycle names like Yamaha and Honda, it had been a long wait for Japan to see one of their own on the winner's podium. The last was Takazumi Katayama, who took the 1982 Swedish Grand Prix.

Abe, on a Yamaha, won by seven seconds from Alex Criville of Spain on a Honda. Third was Scott Russel of the United States on a Suzuki, with world champion Michael Doohan's Honda sixth.

JAPAN GRAND PRIX (Suzuka) 500cc (21 laps, 123.144km): 1 N Abe (Japan) Yamaha 45min 34.590sec (162.115kph); 2 A Criville (Sp) Honda 45:41.086 (161.731); 3 S Russel (US) Suzuki 45:41.730 (161.693); 4 T Okada (Japan) Honda 45:46.314 (161.423); 5 D Beattie (Aus) Suzuki 45:48.260 (161.309); 6 M Doohan (Aus) Honda 45:54.448 (160.946); 7 D Romboni (It) Aprilia 45:56.924 (160.802); 8 J-M Bayle (Fr) Yamaha 46:09.046 (160.098); 9 A Puig (Sp) Honda 46:12.820 (159.880); 10 C Checa (Sp) Honda 46:16.078 (159.692). Standings: 1 Doohan 46; 2= Abe, A Barros (Brazil) Honda 40; 4 Russel 38; 5 L Cadalora (It) Honda 35; 6 Criville 33. Constructors: 1 Honda 70; 2 Yamaha 51; 3 Suzuki 38.

Comments