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The War of Words Continues as Kevin Schwantz Responds to CotA Statement

A few days ago, we supplemented a story about the battle between Kevin Schwantz and Circuit of the Americas racetrack (CoTA) with a statement from CoTA. Here is a response from Kevin Schwantz to that statement received by MD earlier today:

“Last week, Circuit of the Americas (CotA) issued a statement suggesting I had nothing to do with bringing MotoGP to Austin. 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 race track. 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.”

20 Comments

  1. Provologna says:

    Dorna probably is writing its bankruptcy papers this moment.

    Anyway, I find both amusing and incredibly distasteful Dorna repeating this mantra that KS did not fund the building of the track as if that useless drivel has one molecule of relation to their prior/present/future business contracts with our dearly beloved Kevin. (let us consider future reference to our Dearly Beloved Kevin with the initials DBK)

    Let’s see: Kevin and I agree to X. Later, I discover that Kevin did not personally finance the building of the Hoover Dam, hence this fact causes my contract with Kevin to be null and void. I know the school system in the USA sucks, but does Dorna think we’re really that dumb?

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  2. T. Rollie says:

    A letter from CotA “Just business. Nothing personal. If our lawyers can find a way to give us a financial edge and total control of this enterprise, and allow us to back out of our prior commitments, then we at CotA will certainly take that path, Mr. Schwantz. We’re sorry if you take this personally, Mr. Schwantz. We suggest you find some excellent lawyers who can turn this little screw-job back in your favor. But this is Texas, after all, and we will seek the best venue and best justice that money can buy, as I’m sure you will do the same. Thank you, and we will see you in court. Again, no hard feelings, let’s keep this civil, it’s just business.”

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  3. Vrooom says:

    You have to wonder what CotA is thinking. They have a dispute with KS that may be legitimate or may not, but to adjudicate it in the court of public opinion is a losing strategy. KS is a legend and they are not. They should have been ultra classy, welcomed KS and said that they hoped their differences are quickly resolved. Throwing him out has pissed off every GP fan I know, and they kind of need GP fans right about now. They need to take some of that State of Texas money they are trying to take from Kevin and buy a PR person. This is like a new F1 track just having gotten on the schedule throwing Mario Andretti out. Stupid.

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  4. Dave says:

    “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.”

    I read this to mean that the state is funding some of this. If it starts to stink, what are the chances that the state pulls their funding?

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    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Special events that choose Texas over another state can apply for financial assistance for up to 50% of qualified costs from the Events Trust Fund. The state applies a portion of the sales taxes for 30 days from the event date to fund the program.

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  5. Karlsbad says:

    I’d bet a dollar to a dime some scum sucking lawyer looked through every single document and found some tiny loop hole to cut Kevin out, what ever happened to a handshake and your word. Go get em KS We know you are the only reason Moto GP is in Austin. Best of luck to you from all of us that love two wheels

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  6. Dan W. says:

    I’d love to be there for the depostion:

    “Would the defendants please acknowledge that one person here is an actual Motorcycle Gran Prix world champion, and the rest are a bunch of suits ? ”

    Thank you.

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  7. Brian says:

    loving every response.
    I’m sure the CoTA response (if they do) will be as lame as their first response.
    And Ezpleta? more of the same from him it seems. Each new decision is as bad as the last one.

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    • Hefner says:

      Dorna was in on the back-dooring of Schwantz, I wouldn’t expect any support from there. If anything, I expect them to try to distance themselves from this mess as much as possible.

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      • Brian says:

        They will of course, and maintain spineless actions as always. If #34 was Spanish, would they treat him differently???
        Hard to imagine anyone trying to deny KS’s influence in getting the whole thing off the ground or even imagined in the first place.

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        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Hard to imagine anyone trying to deny KS’s influence in getting the whole thing off the ground or even imagined in the first place.”

          i can imagine it… if your a car guy and represent the 97% who neither know nor give a rat’s about motorcycling.

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  8. Gary says:

    So here’s the deal. Schwantz is suing CotA. That legal action is pending NOW. In the midst of the suit, he shows up at the track to coach an American rider.

    That’s a little like suing MacDonalds because you burned yourself with the coffee, then showing up for breakfast the very next day. If YOU owned MacDonalds, would you serve him?

    I have no idea if Kevin’s lawsuit has any merit, but you can’t blame CotA for now wanting him at the facility. I think they were a little heavy-handed about it. But I can’t fault them for severing all ties until the lawsuit is resolved.

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    • Hefner says:

      I agree with you that it’s a little crazy that he thought he’d be able to show up and be allowed access to the facility. My guess is that the move was anticipated, and perhaps was what #34 was looking for anyway.

      What seemed off-kilter about this mess was the explanation CotA gave, which was that he was lacking proper credentials and was not invited. Given that multiple teams present at the test, who were renting the facility, DID in fact invite #34, their statement is cow puckies.

      So go ahead and deny him access to the facility, but do it because you’re involved with a lawsuit with the guy, and you reserve the right to refuse access to anyone, for any reason. Do NOT deny him access for some silly made up reason.

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  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “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 race track. There’s no shortage of evidence to prove these facts.”

    CRRRRAAACK…!!! that sound you just heard is a “GIANT CAN OF WHOOP ASS” being opened.

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  10. Dale says:

    I’d hate to be COTA right now.

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  11. mickey says:

    KS seems to have proof to back his claims. If he does, Dorna’s going to be paying KS huge sums of green.

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