Austin MotoGP event surrounded by controversy

He may have been a master on the track, but Kevin Schwantz is seeing much less success with this business deal. Photo: Wikipedia
He may have been a master on the track, but Kevin Schwantz is seeing much less success with this business deal. Photo: Wikipedia

Last year, one of the big pieces of MotoGP news was the circus’s visit to Austin in 2013. One of the main people behind the move was 1993 world champ Kevin Schwantz.

Well, the fun and games are over for Mr. Schwantz, who filed a lawsuit last week against the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) racetrack, where the event will be held. In his suit, he alleges the track screwed up his deal with MotoGP organizer Dorna; Schwantz had signed a contract with Dorna to organize the race, but that’s been out the window since July. Dorna is dealing directly with COTA now, and Schwantz is out of his middleman role.

Dorna replied with a statement this morning. You can read the full text below, but what they’re saying boils down to this: They confirm they held a contract with Schwantz, which was contingent on his company, 3four Texas MGP LLC, proving he held the rights to organize the race by the end of June. Schwantz’s company wasn’t able to prove they’d inked a contract, so Dorna is now dealing directly with COTA.

So, while this is a bad situation for Mr. Schwantz, it does seem the Austin GP will happen in 2013. And as for the lawsuit – well, we’ll have to wait for the details of the dealings between Schwantz’s company and COTA to come out in the courtroom.

You can read Dorna’s statement below.

“Dorna Sports S.L. entered into a Promoters Contract with 3four Texas MGP LLC in connection with the organization of a FIM MotoGP Grand Prix at The Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, on February 11th 2011 to be effective from the 2013 season. Dorna understood that 3four Texas MGP LLC had an agreement with COTA to run the event.

“On the first days of June 2012, Dorna required 3four Texas MGP LLC to provide satisfactory evidence before June 28th about the company having obtained all the necessary rights, licenses and permits related with the availability of the Circuit of the Americas.

“This is a standard procedure when the Promoter is not the owner of the Circuit.

“3four Texas MGP LLC was not able to provide such evidence to Dorna (apparently no agreement had ever been entered into between 3four Texas MGP LLC and COTA, the owner of the circuit) within the term granted for such purposes, and therefore Dorna had no other alternative than to terminate the February 11th 2011 Promoters Contract due to such Event of Default. The termination was effective from July 2nd 2012.

“As Dorna Sports S.L. and the FIM are interested in a FIM MotoGP Grand Prix in Texas, COTA was then offered the opportunity to become the Promoter of such an event through the signing of a Promoters Agreement. Conversations continue at this moment.”





Join the conversation!