Double MotoGP champion Marc Marquez looks set to move his country of residence from Spain to Andorra, according to reports
Since Andorra offers big tax savings, the news has caused a stir in Spain, which was hit especially hard by the financial crisis.
Regardless of the perceived rights or wrongs, it is massively unfair to single out Marquez. It is rare to find a grand prix star, on two or four wheels, that hasn't packed their bags for countries that, coincidentally, offer more favourable tax arrangements.
Spanish MotoGP riders Pol and Aleix Espargaro already live in Andorra, with countrymen Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo opting for Switzerland.
Indeed some may express surprise that Marquez, who made his grand prix debut in 2008, has remained in Spain for so long. Especially since Andorra is just 120 kilometres from his home town of Cervera.
According to the Spanish reports, which stem from an article in the Diari d'Andorra
, Marquez - whose new Repsol Honda deal is rumoured to pay 10 million euros per year - would face 49% tax in Spain, compared with 30,000 euros (plus one-off 50,000 euros entrance fee) in Andorra. After several years, this will rise to 10% of his income.
Marquez would need to be in Andorra for 183 days a year to meet the residency requirements.
F1 champion Fernando Alonso returned his tax residency from Switzerland to Spain in 2011, with seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi returning to Italy after a high-profile tax investigation (and financial settlement) in 2007.
Reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is a resident of Monaco.