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Kevin Schwantz Reportedly Booted from COTA

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The ongoing saga between former motorcycle Grand Prix champion Kevin Schwantz and the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) track in Austin, Texas, reportedly took an ugly turn last week. Schwantz has issued a statement that claims he was kicked out of the facility by COTA security and would be arrested for criminal trespassing if he
Kevin Schwantz
The feud between COTA and former GP champ Kevin Schwantz got even uglier last week when Schwantz claims he was kicked out of the track despite having the proper credentials and was threatened with criminal trespassing charges.
attempted to return to the track. Schwantz said that he had proper credentials as a guest of both the LCR Honda MotoGP team and was there additionally to coach AMA Pro Racing's Blake Young. Last week both the Yamaha and Honda MotoGP teams were testing at the American circuit. Schwantz was instrumental in bringing MotoGP to the track but the relationship between him, COTA and MotoGP rights holder Dorna has soured, with lawsuits pending. Below is the statement by Kevin Schwantz provided by 3FourTexasMGP. - Bryan Harley

“I have read several reports regarding my attendance at the MotoGP test last week in Austin. I would like to make this statement:

"I had been in Switzerland over the weekend where I was the guest speaker at the St. Gallen University. I returned to Texas on Tuesday evening and on Thursday I was at CotA for the MotoGP test, with a proper credential supplied by the Attack team, to coach Blake Young. Additionally I was an invited guest of the LCR Honda team.

While there, CotA security informed me that CotA management requested I leave the track immediately and was not welcomed at the circuit. CotA's security force also accused me of criminal trespass and warned I would be arrested the next time I entered the track.

This comes as a tremendous disappointment to Honda, Blake Young, and myself. Especially because I am single-handedly responsible for bringing MotoGP to Texas and for the initial design of the facility to accommodate MotoGP racing."

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cggunnersmate   March 21, 2013 11:24 AM
From reports (and who knows how accurate they are) but Kevin had some input in the track design and was the at least, most prominent persone leading the charge to bring GP to the track. He had an agreement with DORNA to negotiate the rights to the race by a certain deadline. COTA stalled or whatever, making Kevin miss his deadline. Then COTA management promptly began negotiating directly with DORNA. Essentially they stalled in order to cut Kevin out of the deal, probably to keep that money for themselves. They probably offered DORNA a cheaper deal than was initially being pursued by Schwantz whihc is probably why DORNA went along, they could have, if they wanted, made his involvment a requirement of the contract. This is suprising considering his long association with DORNA and GP, long after he retired from racing. That they would so suddenly turn their backs on someone who has constantly promoted the sport and mentored many past and current and most likley future GP riders it had to be a kick in the gut.

COTA also has bad reputation for their actions when the forced out Hellmund, not to mention the state comptroller who supposedly authorised funding to go to the circuit when she legally wasn't authorised to. There's some really muddy water around this track, but bottom line, its going to make people money so it'll likely keep going and those in power will get their piece of the pie.
bradvanhorn   March 21, 2013 09:29 AM
I share your contempt for COTA and similarly they will not get a dime of my money unless or until something changes. However, Schwantz does not have the MotoGP rights, is not the organizer, is not the promoter. Schwantz contract with Dorna was cancelled when he couldn't demonstrate he had the necessary rights to the event owing as he does not own the venue. I believe there's no question COTA screwed him by not licensing him to promote the event, which would have given him the rights to meet the Dorna contract, and despite his extensive advance work. Saying you have the rights to something does not make it true.
spirit   March 21, 2013 09:01 AM
The "history" of COTA is already riven with more BS than most tracks accumulate in a decade, and they haven't even had a handful of races yet. This guy gets hired, we use him, then we vote him out; the other guy is the original spark behind the track in the first place and he gets aced out by Bernie Ecclestone and his FIA Mafia. Then there's the whole issue of "Who holds the rights to having a MotoGP race at COTA?". On paper, it's- guess who?- Kevin Schwantz. Yeah, the same guy who got kicked out of class. They kicked out the race organizer. Really. So Kevin wasn't "naive". If he didn't show up that would create a legal situation that makes it look like he isn't the organizer. He is. If nothing else, this was a great savings for me, though: it saves me the money I might have spent going to COTA. That will never happen under its current "leadership". Thanks!
spirit   March 21, 2013 07:17 AM
OK, we all know this is typical "5-year-old-in-a-sandbox" treatment of someone who is a real star by others who have used him to their satisfaction and now wish to toss him aside. Does anybody know what the TV schedule for this race is, what network it will be on and/or the season schedule? Obviously the sensible enthusiast wouldn't actually GO to this "race track" if they treat Revvin' Kevin like this.... Spirit
bradvanhorn   March 21, 2013 05:55 AM
At this point I can think of nothing redeeming about COTA - certainly they've stabbed one of their own partners in the back and it's yet to be determined if or how they defrauded Kevin Schwantz. However, it was either utterly naive or a completely calculated move by Kevin Schwantz to show up at COTA - he is not dumb so far as I know so I assume the latter. Kevin is suing COTA, I thought I heard they were countersuing, there is a public war of words, but you think you can show up on their property and they'll pretend all is well between you just because riders are present? Really? Further, Kevin has done little to impress me with his remarks. "I single handedly made this happen." Seriously? No other single human was involved? The investors only built the track because of you? No one else could conceive bringing MotoGP to a new world class F1 track? It's been his consistent theme and it's too arrogant for my taste. I do not doubt his passion for this endeavor but I suspect he's going to lose the legal battle and this latest spectacle was simply a way for him to further demonstrate that COTA are contemptible businessmen.
Piglet2010   March 20, 2013 08:48 PM
Stupid to piss off Honda - the Japanese manufacturers could decide to start their own premier series if Dorna does not get its act together.
RENDELL   March 20, 2013 08:35 PM
I was going to attend this race as I have past Moto GP races since 2006. I will not be attending this race because of the treatment Kevin Schwantz received. Kevin Schwantz is a good man. Wayne Rayney, his Moto GP arch rival that rode for Yamaha in the '80s likes him.
bikerrandy   March 20, 2013 07:32 PM
They must be afraid of you, Kevin, or since they have no decades of being a top Road Racer in MotoGP, they have no idea how this is so wrong. They're in it for the $. You're in it for your lifetime of racing successfully. Opposites collide.
BaldKnob   March 20, 2013 06:45 PM
Not knowing what went down behind closed doors with these guys makes it unfair to comment but to me, and many other fans of the sport, it looks like dorna AND cota royally shafted KSchwantz. I love that We have 3 races in the States this year and want to support the sport... but that was harsh not letting KS in the pits, stands or parking lot.