Rights holder of MotoGP in talks with Austin
MotoGP rights holder Dorna is in negotiations with the Circuit of the Americas about a race in 2013, according to a Dorna spokesperson.
In an email to the American-Statesman, Ignacio Sagnier, Dorna's communications manager, declined to provide any further details of talks but said MotoGP's first draft for next year's race calendar would likely be released in two weeks at the San Marino race.
Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein was noncommittal, emailing, "We are excited by the strong interest we're seeing from a variety of motorsport series and are in the process of evaluating the 2013 calendar. We're optimistic that we'll reach our goal of offering fans a full schedule of major events."
MotoGP is motorcycling's equivalent of Formula One. It currently stages 18 races around the world, including many in Europe and two in the United States. A little more than a year ago, Circuit of the Americas announced a 10-year deal with MotoGP at a news conference at the Long Center.
Landing F1 and MotoGP was quite a coup for the under-construction track, but the MotoGP deal became a casualty of the rift between Tavo Hellmund and the circuit's other officers and investors.
Motorcycling legend Kevin Schwantz and his company, 3FourTexas, and Dorna had a deal with Hellmund and his company, Full Throttle Productions, to bring MotoGP to Texas. Many assumed Hellmund's promotional rights would be assigned to the Circuit of the Americas at some point, but that never happened.
In February Schwantz sent a letter to circuit president Steve Sexton warning, "If you have not obtained such rights from Full Throttle, then unfortunately Circuit of the Americas will not be included as a round of the FIM Grand Prix Road Racing World Championship."
In June Hellmund settled his suit with the circuit's officers and investors, opening the way for negotiations between the circuit and Schwantz, who declined to comment Thursday. Schwantz had input on the circuit's design from the beginning. He, Hellmund and Tilke engineer Johannes Hogrebe worked on the layout, with Schwantz insisting on a dramatic sequence of turns similar to the famous stadium section in Hockenheim.
Indianapolis picked up MotoGP after it parted ways with Formula One in 2007. The other U.S. stop for MotoGP is Laguna Seca in California, where the three-day crowd this year was 137,221 including 52,677 on race day. The Statesman