Motorcycle Racing News Schwantz Offers Further Response on COTA Suit

Schwantz Offers Further Response on COTA Suit

2012-schwantz-offers-further-response-on-cota-suit

Circuit of the Americas MotoGP

There’s a battle of statements brewing between 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz’s company 3fourTexasMGP and the Austin-based Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

A week ago, Schwantz filed suit against COTA and its president Steve Sexton, the suit stating that through 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).

First Dorna responded, and then COTA, the latter stating Schwantz never had an agreement to “conduct a MotoGP race at its facility.”

Following the COTA release, Schwantz offered the following comment:

“In response to the legal action I filed last week, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has issued a statement claiming I never had an agreement to conduct a MotoGP race at its facility.

“COTA’s claim is false. In April 2011, COTA issued a press release with the headline “Texas Lands MotoGP for 2013; 10-year Deal Signed for Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.” This press release names my company, 3fourTexasMGP, as a party to the MotoGP agreement. It also claims COTA’s track “is the U.S. home to both the Formula 1 and MotoGP Grand Prix World Championships.

“COTA presumably used this agreement with me to entice ticket sales and to persuade elected officials to commit $250 million from the State of Texas’s Major Events Trust Fund. Once it had gotten all the mileage it could out of the agreement, as alleged in my lawsuit, COTA cut me out of the deal and attempted to get a cheaper contract with Dorna.

“Following COTA’s lead, Dorna has now publicly claimed that it has terminated my MotoGP contract. I’m not surprised that Dorna is now acting as a mouthpiece for COTA. As stated in my lawsuit, COTA has misled Dorna and encouraged it to terminate my contract. This unlawful conduct resulted in an announcement in June that they were finalizing details on the Texas race.

“I am tremendously disappointed in my friends at Dorna, who appear to be forced into their current position by COTA. Hopefully, COTA won’t do to them what it did to me.

“To cut through all the spin, here is what has happened. I had an agreement to conduct MotoGP races at COTA. COTA used the agreement to sell tickets and raise money. When the time came for COTA to honor its end of the bargain, it refused. COTA thought it could get a better deal by going around me and directly to Dorna. And that is exactly what it did.”

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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