MotoGP Still Talking With Circuit of the Americas

Cycle News Staff | September 12, 2012

The Circuit of the Americas may host a round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, but it won’t be promoted by former 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz.

That was made clear in a statement released Wednesday morning by Dorna, the series rightsholders. In the statement, the Dorna position was that Schwantz’s company, 3four Texas MGP LLC, didn’t fulfill his obligations as the promoter of the motorcycle race and, therefore, the contract was terminated.

With much fanfare, Schwantz signed a 10-year contract with Dorna to promote a Grand Prix in Feburary 2011. The contract was between Schwantz and Dorna and did not include the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, according to Dorna. Schwantz and the circuit have long been at odds over who should promote the race. Originally, Schwantz’ longtime friend Tavo Hellmund was involved in the management of the track and later as Schwantz’ preferred promoter. But his departure from the track was acrimonious and he later stepped down from any possible promotional role. Dorna’s statement claims they believed Schwantz had a contract with the circuit, which  they later discovered wasn’t the case.

Early in June of 2012 Dorna gave Schwantz a deadline of June 28 to prove that he’d “obtained all the necessary rights, licenses and permits related with the availability of the Circuit of the Americas.” Dorna claims this is stand procedure. Dorna further claims that when “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,” Dorna had no option but to the terminate the contract “due to such Event of Default. The termination was effective from July 2, 2012.”

The statement concludes by saying that both Dorna and the FIM are interested in hosting a third American round of the MotoGP World Championship at COTA and that “Conversations continue at this moment.”