Kevin Schwantz and COTA amicably end dispute

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Kevin Schwantz thought he would need to face the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in a bitter legal fight over promotional rights to the Austin MotoGP round.
But after the row was ended amicably, the 1993 world 500cc champion is now the public face of the spectacular Texas track.

A statement released last night said COTA and Suzuki legend Schwantz had ended their legal differences and the 49-year-old will take up an immediate role as official ambassador to help promote the forthcoming MotoGP race in Austin on April 13.
Schwantz said: “I look forward to being the ambassador for two-wheel racing for COTA, especially as the 2014 MotoGP season begins and returns to Texas. Grand Prix motorcycle racing has been my life, and to help COTA market and promote that moving forward is exciting.”

Schwantz was a key figure in helping bring MotoGP to Texas and he played a pivotal role in the design of the layout of COTA. But he was embroiled in a legal fight believing he had exclusive promotional rights for MotoGP rights in Texas until the 2022 world championship campaign.

The prospect of legal action saw Schwantz not even attend last year’s inaugural COTA race, which drew criticism from several people in the paddock.
It drew lots of negative publicity to COTA, with Schwantz the most successful and high profile rider to emerge out of Texas.

Circuit chairman Bobby Epstein though said: “Kevin is a great champion and partnering with him gives us an opportunity to learn from his deep knowledge, as well as continue to celebrate his accomplishments. Kevin and I have always shared the desire to see him be a part of COTA, and it’s awesome to finally see it become a reality. A great American track and a great American champion in the same city can’t be kept apart. As a result, casual riders, current racers, future stars and the fans all win.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt