1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz and the Circuit of the Americas have 'amicably' settled their legal differences.
As part of the arrangement Schwantz will serve as an official ambassador for COTA and work to promote the upcoming MotoGP event on April 11-13.
"I look forward to being the ambassador for two-wheel racing for COTA, especially as the 2014 MotoGP season begins and returns to Texas,” Schwantz said. “Grand prix motorcycle racing has been my life, and to help COTA market and promote that moving forward is exciting!"
As well as advising on the design of the circuit in his home state, Schwantz was part of the original COTA MotoGP deal, alongside Dorna and Tavo Hellmund's Full Throttle Productions company. Schwantz's company 3FourTexasMGP held sole promotional rights 'for MotoGP in the state of Texas for the years 2013-2022'.
Complications, including the departure of Hellmund, put the original F1 and MotoGP deals in jeopardy. New agreements were eventually reached, but with Schwantz no longer part of the MotoGP event, prompting the Texan to launch legal action. The lawsuit meant Schwantz was not present for last year's inaugural Austin MotoGP event.
“Kevin is a great champion and partnering with him gives us an opportunity to learn from his deep knowledge, as well as continue to celebrate his accomplishments,” Circuit Chairman Bobby Epstein said. “Kevin and I have always shared the desire to see him be a part of COTA, and it's awesome to finally see it become a reality. A great American track and a great American champion in the same city can't be kept apart. As a result, casual riders, current racers, future stars and the fans all win.”
As a COTA ambassador, Schwantz will play a prominent role in a variety of promotions for the upcoming Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. This includes serving as Grand Marshal for the MotoGP race and leading the parade laps scheduled for COTA's personal seat license holders following the grand prix qualifying sessions on Saturday.
Additionally, COTA will work with Schwantz to raise money for an important charity he supports, the Simoncelli Foundation, which was established in memory of Schwantz's good friend, Marco Simoncelli.
Between now and April 4, COTA will donate $1 for every ticket purchased for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas to the Simoncelli Foundation, a nonprofit organisation supporting humanitarian projects that benefit the disadvantaged.
"I am thankful for COTA's support of the Simoncelli Foundation, a charity that's important to all of us who knew Marco personally and fans that followed his career," Schwantz added. “Marco was a great competitor and a very special friend. Now racing fans everywhere can honour his memory and help a cause important to Marco by purchasing a ticket to Austin's MotoGP race."
With Schwantz's former Suzuki team due to test at COTA following the race, there is already speculation that the #34 could try the new XRH-1 inline four-cylinder, being prepared for the factory's 2015 MotoGP return.