1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz has filed a lawsuit against the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) being built in Austin, Texas.
As well as advising on the design of the circuit in his home state, Schwantz is president of 3FourTexas MGP, which closed the original ten-year MotoGP deal (which was due to start in 2013) alongside Dorna and Tavo Hellmund's Full Throttle Productions company.
Complications, most notably the departure of Hellmund, put the original F1 and MotoGP deals in jeopardy. F1 subsequently reached a new arrangement with the circuit owners, but no new MotoGP deal has yet been reached.
That could soon change, with Dorna recently confirming that they are 'in negotiations with the Circuit of the Americas about a race in 2013'. However it seems that Schwantz is not part of the new discussions.
Schwantz has released the following statement via Facebook
“I have devoted over 25 years of my life to MotoGP, the premier motorcycle road racing world championship. I spent four of those years bringing MotoGP to Texas, my home state. As a result, MotoGP agreed in 2011 to host an annual race at Austin's Circuit of the Americas (COTA) track.
“I'm sorry to say that COTA is now attempting to unlawfully force me out of this project. I believe COTA has committed fraud in doing so. Earlier today, I took legal action against COTA. I was forced to file this lawsuit in order to protect my rights, my reputation, and MotoGP itself.
“I want to see MotoGP come to Texas, but I cannot allow COTA to take advantage of me. More important, I will not sit idly by while a newcomer to racing discredits the sport I love.
“- Kevin Schwantz, President of 3fourTexasMGP, LLC
COTA are yet to respond.
The inaugural Austin F1 Grand Prix will take place from November 16-18, 2012.
A provisional version of the 2013 MotoGP calendar is expected to be released next weekend at Misano.