AUSTIN, Texas — Promoting races can be a cutthroat business. World Champion motorcycle racer Kevin Schwantz has found that out recently.
Schwantz thought he had an arrangement with Dorna to promote a MotoGP race at the new Circuit of Americas near here, but the politics of the sport left him out in the dark and led him to file a suit last week against Circuit of the Americas.
Now, this week he learned Dorna dissolved its agreement with him and is negotiating directly with COTA.
Schwantz issued the following statement:
“In response to the legal action I filed last week, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has issued a statement claiming I never had an agreement to conduct a MotoGP race at its facility.
“COTA’s claim is false. In April 2011, COTA issued a press release with the headline ‘Texas Lands MotoGP for 2013; 10-year Deal Signed for Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.’ This press release names my company, 3fourTexasMGP, as a party to the MotoGP agreement. It also claims COTA’s track “is the U.S. home to both the Formula 1 and MotoGP Grand Prix World Championships.”
“COTA presumably used this agreement with me to entice ticket sales and to persuade elected officials to commit $250 million from the State of Texas’s Major Events Trust Fund. Once it had gotten all the mileage it could out of the agreement, as alleged in my lawsuit, COTA cut me out of the deal and attempted to get a cheaper contract with Dorna.
“Following COTA’s lead, Dorna has now publicly claimed that it has terminated my MotoGP contract. I’m not surprised that Dorna is now acting as a mouthpiece for COTA. As stated in my lawsuit, COTA has misled Dorna and encouraged it to terminate my contract. This unlawful conduct resulted in an announcement in June that they were finalizing details on the Texas race.
I am tremendously disappointed in my friends at Dorna, who appear to be forced into their current position by COTA. Hopefully, COTA won’t do to them what it did to me.
“To cut through all the spin, here is what has happened. I had an agreement to conduct MotoGP races at COTA. COTA used the agreement to sell tickets and raise money. When the time came for COTA to honor its end of the bargain, it refused. COTA thought it could get a better deal by going around me and directly to Dorna. And that is exactly what it did.”