The Circuit of the Americas and Kevin Schwantz continue to battle back and forth over the disputed Texas MotoGP round.
The acrimonious PR battle between Kevin Schwantz and the Circuit of the Americas continues, as the former World Champion and Texas circuit trade barbs via press statements.
The standoff escalated last week when Schwantz was booted from the circuit during a private MotoGP test. Schwantz is currently engaged in a lawsuit with CotA over the MotoGP event, which was cited by the circuit as the reason for his dismissal. The ejection led to a statement issued by Schwantz, in which he made the claim that “…I am single-handedly responsible for bringing MotoGP to Texas and for the initial design of the facility to accommodate MotoGP racing.”
This was in turn followed up by a response from CotA. The release challenged Schwantz’s claims, minimizing his role in the Texas GP event. “Mr. Schwantz does not have any relationship with Circuit of The Americas. He is not one of the investors who spent $400 million to design and build the facility.”
The statement continued: “Finally, Circuit of The Americas is the organization responsible for bringing MotoGP to Texas through its promotional agreement with the commercial rights holder Dorna.”
Now Schwantz has issued his response to the latest CotA statement, saying:
“Last week, Circuit of the Americas (CotA) issued a statement suggesting I had nothing to do with bringing MotoGP to Austin. Unlike others who have had disputes with CotA, I am free to speak my mind. So let me set the record straight: I am the reason MotoGP is coming to Texas and no one currently associated with CotA had anything to do with the design of the actual race track. There’s no shortage of evidence to prove these facts.
“On February 2, 2011, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta sent me a letter confirming that 3FourTexasMGP, my company, is the ‘sole rights holder for MotoGP in the state of Texas for the years 2013-2022.’ On February 3, 2011, Comptroller Susan Combs sent a letter to me and Mr. Ezpeleta confirming that the MotoGP U.S. Grand Prix would be included in the state’s Event Trust Fund beginning in 2013. In that letter, the state comptroller explained that the annual funding would be sent to 3fourTexasMGP, ‘the rights holder for all MotoGP events in Texas.’ On April 12, 2011, at the request of the state comptroller a press conference was held announcing that MotoGP was on its way to Texas. Finally, on July 22, 2011, Mr. Ezpeleta sent a letter to the state Comptroller saying that ‘both Kevin (Schwantz) and I are positive that the measured success of our events in Texas will be fantastic for both the state of Texas and MotoGP.’ (see links: http://schwantzschool.com/images/pdfs/documents.pdf and http://schwantzschool.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90 and http://schwantzschool.com/images/pdfs/Austin-track-design.pdf)
“I have spent too much time and money the past five years on this project, including helping the Comptroller during the 2011 Legislative session and CotA in raising money, for me to sit by and allow this repeated misinformation to continue. CotA’s attempt to downplay my involvement with Austin’s MotoGP event is silly, but some of the group’s other actions may verge on something far more serious. It is my belief that just like the F1 event, they are attempting to rewrite history in an effort to qualify for one of the Texas Event Trust Funds.”