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Norick Abe Wins Suzuka 500 GP

The 500 GP roadrace held at Suzuka, Japan today was simply incredible. The number of lead changes was countless, and the race leaders typically included Kenny Roberts, Alex Criville, Max Biaggi (earlier, before crashing) and Norick Abe (at the end). At times, Suzuki’s Kenny Roberts (who took pole) looked like he would pull away from a dog fight with the other leaders, but it never happened. Honda’s Alex Criville (defending champion) led, at times, before an off-track excursion put him back in sixth place. Yamaha’s Max Biaggi also led at times before crashing earlier in the race.

This race came down to a close fight between Yamaha’s Norick Abe and Roberts, with Abe taking his second Suzuka 500 GP victory over Roberts.

Roberts leaves Suzuka with the points lead in the championship over Yamaha’s Carlos Checa and Yamaha’s Garry McCoy.

In 250 action, Honda’s Daijiro Katoh was victorious over second place Tohru Ukawa (Honda) and third place Shinya Nakano (Yamaha). Nakano maintains a championship points lead going into round four.

250cc Final (Top 10)

1. 	Daijiro Katoh 		(#74 - HONDA)
2.	Tohru Ukawa		(#4  - HONDA)
3.	Shinya Nakano		(#56 - YAMAHA)
4.	Olivier Jacque 		(#19 - YAMAHA)
5.	Marco Melandri		(#13 - APRILIA)
6.	Naoki Matsudo		(#8  - YAMAHA)	
7.	Anthony West 		(#14 - HONDA)
8.	Franco Battaini		(#21 - APRILIA)
9.	Osamu Miyazaki		(#49 - YAMAHA)
10.	Shinichi Nakatomi	(#48 - HONDA)

250cc Points Standing (Top 5)

1.	Shinya Nakano	(66 pts.)  (YAMAHA)
2.	Daijiro Katoh	(61 pts.)  (HONDA)
3.	Olivier Jacque	(46 pts.)  (YAMAHA)
4.	Tohru Ukawa	(36 pts.)  (HONDA)
5.	Anthony West	(30 pts.)  (HONDA)

500cc Final Results (Top 10)

1.	Norick Abe		(#6  - YAMAHA)
2.	Kenny Roberts		(#2  - SUZUKI)
3.	Tadayuki Okada		(#8  - HONDA)
4.	Nobuatsu Aoki		(#9  - SUZUKI)
5.	Carlos Checa		(#7  - YAMAHA)
6.	Alex Criville 		(#1  - HONDA)
7.	Alex Barros		(#10 - HONDA)
8.	Jeremy McWilliams	(#99 - APRILIA)
9.	Garry McCoy		(#24 - YAMAHA)
10.	Akira Ryo		(#19 - SUZUKI)

500cc Points Standing (Top 5)

1.	Kenny Roberts	(55 pts.)   (SUZUKI)
2.	Carlos Checa	(51 pts.)   (YAMAHA)
3.	Garry McCoy	(48 pts.)   (YAMAHA)
4.	Norick Abe	(34 pts.)   (YAMAHA)
5.	Alex Barros	(30 pts.)   (HONDA)