Just last week former World Champion and MotoGP legend Kevin Schwantz issued a statement regarding his removal of the COTA track during the recent private MotoGP test. Schwantz was present at the test to help MotoGP wildcard Blake Young.
Soon after COTA spokesperson Julie Loignon, the vice president of public and media relations, addressed Schwantz’ statement with a statement from the track. Within the statement it said that Schwantz had nothing to do with getting MotoGP to Texas.
Schwantz didn’t take this well, and his latest response is below.
“Last week, Circuit of the Americas (CotA) issued a statement suggesting I had nothing to do with bringing MotoGP to Austin,” Schwantz’ statement says.
“Unlike others who have had disputes with CotA, I am free to speak my mind. 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 racetrack. 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 and http://schwantzschool.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90 and 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.”
This has now turned very ugly, and has real potential to get legal before a competitive wheel has been turned at COTA. But one things for sure is that this isn’t over yet.