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Oct 7, 2002

Abe To Ride MotoGP YZR-M1 In Australia

<BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Sources in Europe confirmed Monday that Antena 3 Yamaha D'Antin's Norick Abe will race a Yamaha YZR-M1 four-stroke in the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, October 19. Abe joins Marlboro Yamaha riders Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa and Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3 riders Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano to be the fifth M1 rider on the grid.<BR><BR>Barring any last-minute wild cards, there will be 13 four-strokes (five Yamahas, four Hondas, two Suzukis, one Aprilia and one Kawasaki) and eight two-strokes (three Hondas, three Yamahas and two Protons) on the grid at Phillip Island.<BR><BR>Abe's teammate Pere Riba, will sit out the remaining three MotoGP rounds with lingering injuries. Riba's Yamaha YZR500's seat will be filled by Jose Luis Cardoso, say team sources.<BR><BR>Elements inside Team Proton KR say development of the team's new V5 four-stroke is right on schedule, and the new bike should begin track testing after the final round of the 2002 MotoGP season. Other sources close to the team say it looks as though both Nobuatsu Aoki and Jeremy McWilliams will be re-signed to Team Proton KR for 2003.<BR>