The 17-year-old Japanese will make his debut with the Vft Racing team as a partner of the Italian champion Nicholas Spinelli. Father Norifumi had been Rossi’s idol. An important surname is therefore back in the World Cup after 17 years
First the meeting with Valentino Rossi at the Tavullia Ranch. Then the participation in the Suzuka 8 Hours. 2022 has been decidedly intense for Maiki Abe, son of Norifumi, the unforgettable star of the 90s MotoGP world championship who died in a road accident in 2007. But the best for the eighteen-year-old seems to be yet to come: in fact, the Japanese will enter the Supersport World Championship next season , the cadet category of the Superbike championship. A very important step in his growth.
The relationship between Abe and Yamaha had developed since the beginning of the All Japan 600, a category in which he will also compete in 2023. The partnership was consolidated with his presence at the Suzuka 8 Hours. In the next season he was hired by Fabio Menghi’s Vft Racing team. He will be the partner of the Italian Next Generation 600 champion Nicholas Spinelli. The main objective can only be to gain experience.
Maiki’s entry into Supersport brings the Abe surname back to a World Championship 17 years later. Father Norifumi competed in the last Superbike season in 2006, again with a Yamaha. He had also competed in the production derivatives in 2005 after his farewell to the World Championship, his home for eleven championships. Another curious fact: Maiki will make his debut at nineteen, almost the same age as his parent in 500 in 1994. At the time, Norifumi, only 18 years old, surprised everyone by playing almost to the end for the Japanese GP. A race that would have bewitched even Rossi, his avid fan and, in the summer of 2022, Abe jr’s teacher at the Ranch. A circle that has closed, waiting for new chapters.