Schwantz - COTA court battle scheduled for February

Lawsuit over Texas MotoGP rights set to go before jury on February 10, 2014

The showdown in a Texas courtroom between former 500cc Grand Prix World Champion Kevin Schwantz and the Circuit of the Americas over promotional rights for the MotoGP races that are held at the Austin racetrack is scheduled to take place before a jury on February 10, 2014, according to the Austin American-Statesman. In a lawsuit filed back in September 2012, Schwantz contends that the Circuit of the Americas and then-CEO Steve Sexton (who stepped down from his position in November) "through tortious interference and fraud...encouraged Dorna to breach and purportedly terminate (Schwantz's 3fourTexas MGP LLC promotional company) contract" so that a new contract could be drawn up without Schwantz's company in the picture. COTA had attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that it had no legal merit, but the court denied the motion and ruled that it should be heard by a jury.

The path that has led to February's court date has been circuitous to say the least. Schwantz filing the lawsuit in Travis County court, COTA filing a countersuit a month later, Schwantz getting escorted off of the circuit premises during a winter MotoGP test earlier this year and then making a statement, to which COTA then issued a counter-statement, to which Schwantz then issued a counter-statement of his own, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta reportedly getting served subpoena papers while having breakfast at a luxury hotel during the COTA MotoGP weekend, numerous race fans showing up at the race wearing "Free Kevin 34" shirts and all will come to a head for 10 days starting in February.