Jorge Lorenzo has won a battle that saw him at the centre of a tax evasion charge by the Spanish fiscal authorities. You can read what happened HERE, but today Jorge decided to take the floor in first person and clarify what happened in the best possible way by publishing a press release which we reproduce in its entirety.
From his words transpires all the bitterness for an affair that has dragged on for over five years, including the last few seasons in MotoGP with a sort of Sword of Damocles hanging over his head. Lorenzo certainly didn't have any sweet words for the Spanish tax authorities, guilty according to the former rider of having tried to discredit him in every way. Here is his message.
"Recently a series of news stories about the disputes I had with the Spanish Treasury have been published in various media. I would like to write a few short lines to give you my view of what happened. As you all know, many years ago I decided to go to live in Lugano, a small but modern Swiss city a few kilometres away from Milan. I left, like many other sportsmen, because I needed the peace and tranquillity that the city offered me when I wasn't around for the races. I moved to Lugano so as not to travel halfway around the world and to have the opportunity to train in the Yamaha team at the team facilities (60 km from my home). And, of course, I also appreciated the tax regime it offers its citizens, much more reasonable and less aggressive and confiscatory than elsewhere.
In June 2017, the Spanish tax authorities started an inspection to challenge my status as a tax resident in Switzerland. The inspection covered the years from 2013 to 2016. Although the Swiss authorities insisted that my status was perfectly legal, the Spanish tax authorities have always questioned everything. They sent hundreds of requests to my sponsors and my teams, looking not only for information, but also to discredit me in the eyes of public opinion, making me appear to the media as a scammer.
They even sent emissaries to the paddock to force me to sign a document, they attacked me and blocked the exit when I was about to get on the bike a few minutes before the race. Likewise, I had to pay the requested money in advance, to avoid pledges and humiliating situations (such as appearing on the moratorium lists). A real joke.
I have suffered a lot in these five and a half years. As a professional, I've always tried to stay focused on racing, isolating myself from the noise of others. But I have to admit that the pressure and anguish generated by this unjust and distorted persecution by the Spanish Treasury ended up affecting my professional life. They even knocked me down emotionally. Something that my competitors failed to do.
A year and a half ago, at the end of June 2021, now retired from racing competition, I finally saw the light. The Central Economic Administrative Court agreed with my lawyer for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. A strong sentence annulled the measures that had been unjustly made against me. And of course they gave me back the money I had advanced. I've made progress. However, there has never been any sort of reparation for the damages caused. No compensation for damages. No apologies, public or private, letter or phone call. Nothing.
In December, a new pronouncement, this time by the Regional Economic and Administrative Council of Catalonia, once again proved me right for 2016. I hope this puts an end to this nightmare. Taxes are necessary and if the money is managed well by the administration (which is not always the case) contributing is something to be proud of. But what is equally undeniable is that taxes must be paid wherever one lives.
The Spanish Treasury had started a witch hunt thinking it had found a scapegoat. They were wrong. Of course, no one is going to give me back the sleepless nights and peace I needed to focus when I was on the track.
Jorge Lorenzo Guerrero".