This year’s MotoGP event at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, is already action-packed, and the race hasn’t even happened yet. COTA and 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz are currently slugging it out in court over the circuit’s decision to pass over the champ’s promotion company for the upcoming MotoGP and instead go with series rights holder Dorna. It’s never a pretty sight when someone brings the lawyers in, but if you think that’s as bad as things could get, guess again.
The next round of nastiness began when Schwantz arrived at COTA last week during a private test arranged by Yamaha, Honda, and a couple of CRT teams. Schwantz has been mentoring Blake Young, who will ride the three U.S. rounds of the MotoGP series this year, and was invited to the track by Young’s Attack team. But Schwantz says he was summarily escorted out of the facility by security guards, and threatened with charges of criminal trespass should he return.
From that point on it’s been combat by press release, with Schwantz repeating his assertion that he was an invited guest of the Attack team, and COTA claiming the event was open only to “participating teams and invited media,” and since Schwantz wasn’t a journalist, and COTA didn’t invite him, he wasn’t given access. No matter how this turns out, it looks like 34’s chances of being named Grand Marshal for the April 21 race are pretty much zero.