The agreement, which was to bring all three categories of the World Championship to Texas, was called into question recently when news broke that Kevin Schwantz would be suing COTA, claiming that the racetrack and it’s president, Steve Sexton, went behind his back to strike a deal with Dorna, to hold the races.
Schwantz, a Texas native and 1993 World Champion has been involved in the design of the racetrack, and has been an avid supporter of bringing the World Championship to Texas.
On September 8th, Schwantz announced that he would be taking legal action against COTA, “ I’m sorry to say that COTA is now attempting to unlawfully force me out of this project. I believe COTA has committed fraud in doing so. Earlier today, I took legal action against COTA. I was forced to file this lawsuit in order to protect my rights, my reputation, and MotoGP itself. I want to see MotoGP come to Texas, but I cannot allow COTA to take advantage of me. More important, I will not sit idly by while a newcomer to racing discredits the sport I love.”
While the reality of MotoGP coming to Texas has now been called into question (and there is no mention of any such event on the COTA website), Dorna issued a statement today in response to Schwantz filing a lawsuit against COTA, confirming that 3four Texas MGP had not provided satisfactory evidence that the necessary rights and licenses had been secured for COTA, and that their agreement had been terminated on July 2, 2012.
“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.”
Dorna Sports reports that they and the FIM are interested in a FIM MotoGP in Texas, and have offered COTA the opportunity to run the event. Conversations continue to be ongoing.