Dorna Responds to Schwantz’s COTA Lawsuit


Circuit of the Americas MotoGP

Last Friday, 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz and his company 3fourTexasMGP filed suit against the Austin-based Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and its president, Steve Sexton.

The suit states that “through tortious interference and fraud, COTA and Sexton encouraged Dorna to breach and purportedly terminate 3four’s agreement to avoid the obligation to pay 3four.”

Schwantz initially struck a deal with the promoter of MotoGP, Dorna Sports LLC, and the promoter of COTA, Full Throttle Productions, to bring MotoGP to COTA. But a host of complications involved, including a Full Throttle Productions also suing COTA (read full report here).

And on Wednesday, Dorna offered the following statement:

In response to 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz and his company 3four Texas MGP LLC filing a lawsuit against the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Dorna Sports S.L., a third party in the matter, wishes to release the following statement.

Dorna Sports S.L. entered into a Promoters Contract with 3four Texas MGP LLC in connection with the organization of a FIM MotoGP Grand Prix at The Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, on February 11th 2011 to be effective from the 2013 season. Dorna understood that 3four Texas MGP LLC had an agreement with COTA to run the event.

On the first days of June 2012, Dorna required 3four Texas MGP LLC to provide satisfactory evidence before June 28th about the company having obtained all the necessary rights, licenses and permits related with the availability of the Circuit of the Americas.

This is a standard procedure when the Promoter is not the owner of the Circuit.

3four Texas MGP LLC was not able to provide such evidence to Dorna (apparently no agreement had ever been entered into between 3four Texas MGP LLC and COTA, the owner of the circuit) within the term granted for such purposes, and therefore Dorna had no other alternative than to terminate the February 11th 2011 Promoters Contract due to such Event of Default. The termination was effective from July 2nd 2012.

As Dorna Sports S.L. and the FIM are interested in a FIM MotoGP Grand Prix in Texas, COTA was then offered the opportunity to become the Promoter of such an event through the signing of a Promoters Agreement. Conversations continue at this moment.