Oh no, not another Circuit of the Americas article! It’s not our fault, really. You may remember the dust up between Kevin Schwantz and the Circuit of the Americas racing facility, which saw the Texan MotoGP star left out in the cold when issues regarding COTA’s contract with Dorna and 3FourTexasMGP came into question six months ago.
We hadn’t heard much about Schwantz and COTA since that time, and thought things had moved on from the “he said, she said” blame game that went on between the parties involved. That apparently is not the case, as Kevin Schwantz has released a statement regarding how he was escorted off the COTA premises during the private MotoGP test there last week.
Getting credentials through the Attack Racing CRT team to help coach its rider Blake Young, and an invited guest of the LCR Honda team, Schwantz says he found himself on the wrong-end of the COTA security team, which asked him to leave the facility or face criminal trespass charges.
The booting might have something to do with the lawsuit Schwantz currently has with the Circuit of the Americas, and Schwantz’s belief that he single-handedly brought MotoGP to Texas. From the sidelines, the fallout between Schwantz and COTA (and to a lesser extent Dorna and Tavo Hellmund) has shown what has become a growing disparity in motorcycle racing.
Motorcycle racing fans, loyal to their two-wheeled heroes, have been quick to jump to the defense of Schwantz, who many see as another casual victim of big business and greed. Whereas seasoned businessmen (and businesswomen) can see the writing between the lines on how the agreements were made between the involved parties, and thus how Schwantz’s media company, 3FourTexasMGP, landed itself in its current predicament.
The reality is that Schwantz feels entitled to some sort of compensation for MotoGP coming to Texas, and has had no problems posting press releases to help put public pressure on the Texan race track. From what I have seen from the two parties, Schwantz by his own description had a very poor contract drafted with Dorna, which left COTA with all the power in the relationship.
Not being a skilled promoter, marketer, or anything beyond a legend on the race track, it is confusing as to why Schwantz would expect to be included in a business deal that centered around him promoting and marketing the Austin GP, and if there is one thing businesses hate, it is an unnecessary middleman. Is that how a race legend should be treated? Probably not, but that is how the cookie crumbles in the real world.
That being said, there is certainly plenty still to come from behind the scenes with both parties. Who is wrong, and who is right? That is for the courts to figure out (though we doubt this dispute will ever see the light of a courtroom), but we wouldn’t expect to see Schwantz at the upcoming Austin round for MotoGP. His statement about the incident is below:
“I have read several reports regarding my attendance at the MotoGP test last week in Austin. I would like to make this statement:
I had been in Switzerland over the weekend where I was the guest speaker at the St. Gallen University. I returned to Texas on Tuesday evening and on Thursday I was at CotA for the MotoGP test, with a proper credential supplied by the Attack team, to coach Blake Young. Additionally I was an invited guest of the LCR Honda team.
While there, CotA security informed me that CotA management requested I leave the track immediately and was not welcomed at the circuit. CotA’s security force also accused me of criminal trespass and warned I would be arrested the next time I entered the track.
This comes as a tremendous disappointment to Honda, Blake Young, and myself. Especially because I am single-handedly responsible for bringing MotoGP to Texas and for the initial design of the facility to accommodate MotoGP racing.”