MotoGP's planned 2013 debut at the new circuit being built in Austin, Texas remains in doubt, despite apparent movement on the contractual deadlock.
A ten-year MotoGP
deal with the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) was announced last April and followed hot on the heels of an agreement with Formula One, which will debut in 2012.
But both agreements were put in doubt by a series of 'complications', most significantly the departure of original promoter Tavo Hellmund.
F1 subsequently reached a new arrangement directly with the circuit owners, but a similar agreement is yet to be reached - or even, it seems, attempted - for MotoGP.
1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz
has the rights for a MotoGP
round in Texas through his 3FourTexas company, while Hellmund's Full Throttle Productions signed as the promoter.
Schwantz had urged COTA to contact Hellmund about obtaining the MotoGP
rights "after which I would be glad to open discussions with you as the new promoter".
Hellmund and COTA are now reported to have reached some form of settlement in their legal dispute, but it seems the issue of the MotoGP
round is no closer to being resolved.
In a new email to the American-Statesman
, Schwantz revealed that Hellmund stepped aside several weeks ago, clearing the way for COTA to deal directly with him for the MotoGP
However it seems they are yet to do so.
"Several weeks ago, Tavo was nice enough to step aside and asked COTA to talk directly with me about a MotoGP
contract for them. To date, COTA has not had any meaningful discussions with me regarding MotoGP
at COTA,” wrote Schwantz.
"...I, of course, hope that there is MotoGP
in Austin and have offered COTA multiple options in how to achieve that."
Schwantz did not reveal what those options are.
The first COTA F1 event is due to be held on November 16-18.
Mario Andretti has signed on as an Official Ambassador for the track and joined circuit representatives in visiting last weekend's Canadian F1 round.