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Kevin Schwantz Responds to CotA Statement

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Construction on the Circuit of the Americas track near Austin. The COTA has been embroiled in controversy shortly after its inception  with lawsuits surrounding its opening Formula 1 and MotoGP events.
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."
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Guzzi1   April 7, 2013 10:24 AM
It's pretty obvious that J.R. Ewing is not a fictional character, but in fact a vivid representation of the ruthless and unscrupulous Texans that permeate the Lone Star State business world. Sad way to treat a state treasure, especially since Lance Armstrong was their standard bearer. Embarrassing way to represent your state I'd say.
sqd8r   March 30, 2013 01:21 PM
Everyone needs to take a good hard look at the state of motorcycling in general in the world and in the USA. It's not the top of the shelf in motorsports. Dorna and MGP need COTA more than COTA needs them. A few fans of Schwantz boycotting the race is not going to make it a failure. Schwantz wins the sympathy vote and possibly the war in the papers but I doubt he will win in court. I'm sure even if he did it would still cost him and ultimately still keep him out of the game as COTA has the current contract no matter if they recognize what went before.
sqd8r   March 29, 2013 10:15 PM
It's in court. Kevin is asking a lot of them to admit something while he is suing them at the same time. Anyone being sued is only going to stick with what can be proven. His contract expired so he is going to have a heck of a time as Dorna has a contract with COTA not with Schwantz's company. This isn't just a race but a business. This is all now legal. Silly move on his part going to the track without permission in the middle of a court case; he had to have known that wasn't advisable. Yeah I wonder about his health, he has not looked well the past number of yrs.
spokes   March 28, 2013 02:25 PM
WOW! this guy looks older than 48! the stress must taking it's toll, chill out Kevin!
JimPallas   March 28, 2013 05:54 AM
There is no question as to the origins of CoTA nor the MOTOGP event. CoTA's money and attorneys have levereged Tavo Hellmund and Kevin Schwantz out of the formula. This track...these events would not exist without Tavo and Kevin. Denying that fact alone destroys the credibility of those who control CoTA today.
Why not simply be truthful?
In the meantime, thanks go out to Tavo and Kevin for bringing the "Crown Jewel" of race tracks in the U.S. to Austin. Until CoTA gets the story right, I'm not spending a penny at that facility unitl they do.
bradvanhorn   March 27, 2013 07:21 AM
I agree - it's hard to comprehend the actions from COTA. On the other hand, I have little doubt cars are where they will make nearly all their profits. Since the majority of car guys I've met are generally indifferent to motorcycles, it is little harm for COTA to damage their reputation with the MotoGP crowd. COTA won't get my money but apparently they are unconcerned.
MotoManny   March 27, 2013 07:05 AM
eligovt   March 26, 2013 08:21 PM
I don't understand what CotA expects to gain by cutting out Schwantz. I can tell you now, the few extra dollars up front won't cover the cost of litigation and PR. Even if they can beat this on a technicality, they are damaging their reputation and promotional options for years to come. I'll watch the CotA race on TV, but no way in hell I'd lay down any money at that track right now.
CowboyTutt   March 26, 2013 05:57 PM
YOU GO KEVIN!!!! -Tutt