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Schwantz 'sets the record straight' on COTA claim

27 March 2013

The latest exchange in the ongoing dispute between the Circuit of the Americas and Kevin Schwantz has seen the 1993 500cc world champion 'set the record straight' regarding who brought MotoGP to Texas.

Schwantz and COTA are embroiled in a legal dispute involving promotion rights for the MotoGP event, which will take place at the new Austin circuit next month.

At the end of a recent statement confirming that he was asked to leave the private MotoGP test at COTA, Schwantz had said:

“This comes as a tremendous disappointment... Especially because I am single-handedly responsible for bringing MotoGP to Texas and for the initial design of the facility to accommodate MotoGP racing."

COTA issued a response, confirming the ongoing legal action and stating: "Mr. Schwantz was not invited to attend the [test] by Circuit of The Americas, and as a private property owner, the Circuit determines who has access to its facility.

"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.

"Finally, Circuit of The Americas is the organization responsible for bringing MotoGP to Texas through its promotional agreement with the commercial rights holder Dorna."

The closing paragraphs appear to have especially angered Schwantz, who feels COTA is attempting to 'downplay his involvement' and 'rewrite history'.

"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,” began the new Schwantz statement.

“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
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."

It is not known if Schwantz will attend next month's inaugural MotoGP event.


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