MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Andorra-gate will make Márquez faster
If any of Marc Márquez’s MotoGP rivals were gloating while he suffered the slings and arrows of Andorra-gate, they should wipe their schadenfreude smiles off their faces.
In case you aren’t up to speed with this Andorra business, Márquez’s decision to move to the tax haven on the French/Spanish border triggered a torrent of abuse from fans, almost 50,000 of whom signed a petition requesting his sponsors to withdraw their backing.
The reaction caught MotoGP’s golden boy by surprise, which he made public during a tearful (without doubt genuine, not crocodile) press conference before the recent Barcelona dirt track event.
His rivals were probably gloating – to a greater or less extent – because this is the first time the youngster has been on the ropes since he started making everyone else in MotoGP look silly in the spring of 2013.
Of course, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi have kept very quiet about the matter, because sensible people in glass houses don’t throw stones. Lorenzo and Pedrosa currently reside in tax-friendly Switzerland, while Rossi now lives in Italy, having been nicked for tax-dodging while enjoying ‘non-dom’ status in London some years back. The Italian tax authorities took over €100 million in unpaid tax off the country’s favourite son.
Andorra-gate may turn out to be a significant moment in Márquez’s career. It suggests that his honeymoon period as a superstar is over – he has realised all of sudden that support from fans isn’t unconditional.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.