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  • Writer's pictureAdéla Pavlovská

Andorra - Monaco of MotoGP

If you look where most of Formula 1 drivers reside, the answer would be Monaco. MotoGP riders also have their own Monaco – Andorra.

Officially known as the Principality of Andorra, this microstate, formed somewhere in the 13th century, can be found on the Iberian Peninsula in the Pyrenees. It has an area of about 468 square kilometres and a population of almost 80.000 inhabitants. The official language is Catalan because the majority of the native population is of Catalan descent. Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe as it is 1.023 metres above sea level. Despite not being a member of the European Union, their currency is the euro. It is headed by two co-princes: the Bishop of Urgell and the President of France. Because Andorra borders Spain and France, it is no surprise that riders of these nationalities chose this co-principality as their residence the most. As it stands now, Andorra is the home of Joan Mir, Maverick Vinales, Aleix and Pol Espargaro, Alex Rins, Jorge Martín, and Fabio Quartararo. The only exception is the Aussie Jack Miller. Italian riders usually live in their native land, the same goes for Miguel Oliveira, who is from Portugal. Marquéz brothers dutifully pay the taxes as they reside in their hometown, Cervera.

Why is it that Andorra attracts professional riders and sportspeople from different parts of the planet? There are several reasons. The main one is taxes. Andorra is considered a tax paradise, same as Monaco. The maximum percentage of personal income tax is 10%, however, it is rarely applied to the salary of riders. Residents are excluded from taxes such as wealth or on profits from financial or real estate investments. These advantages are the decisive factor for riders when deciding where to settle down. The added value of living in Andorra for the riders is training at high altitudes. There is a permanent circuit, Andorra Circuit in Pas de la Casa, built in 1999. Because of its location at 2.400 metres above the sea level, it is the highest route in the world, allowing the riders to improve their aerobic performance. According to Fabio Quartararo, “even when you sleep, you are producing red blood cells.” Riders residing in Andorra often train together. Being able to train with the riders they compete against helps them perform better on track.


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