Carmelo Ezpeleta Served With A Subpoena By Kevin Schwantz' Lawyers In Austin

Carmelo Ezpeleta was served with with a subpoena this morning by legal representatives of Kevin Schwantz, calling the Dorna CEO to appear before the courts in Austin to give a report of the contract dealings between Schwantz and the Spanish company charged with organizing MotoGP over the race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. A statement released by Schwantz reads "I just received word from my attorney, Austin Tighe:  I want to let you know that earlier this morning, over what I am told was a delicious Four Seasons’ breakfast, Carmelo Ezpeleta was served with a subpoena to appear for deposition in Austin on May 8 at 9:00 a.m."

The move is the latest step in the long-running dispute between Schwantz and COTA, the owners of the Circuit of The Americas, over the rights to organize the Austin round of MotoGP. With Ezpeleta called to make a public statement about the course of events leading up to the ousting of Schwantz, the Dorna boss will be forced to fly back to the US the week after the Jerez round of MotoGP, to speak to the courts. Ezpeleta will likely be quizzed on his role in the contract dispute between Schwantz and COTA, and exactly what agreements were made between the parties.

It was Dorna which canceled Schwantz' contract to run the MotoGP round at Austin, but given the dispute between COTA and Schwantz, their choices were limited. Dorna had a contract with Schwantz to organize the race, but COTA refused to allow Schwantz to organize the race at the Austin circuit. The situation was in deadlock, and though Schwantz worked tirelessly to bring MotoGP to Texas, if the deadlock had continued, there would not have been a MotoGP race in Austin at all, until the dispute between Schwantz and COTA had been resolved.

For more background on the situation, two of the US' most venerable publications have interviews with Kevin Schwantz, in which he talks about the situation. Cycle World spoke to Schwantz on Thursday, while Cycle News interviewed the Texan racing legend on Friday. Both interviews are well worth reading, and provide a lot of background into the situation, as seen from Kevin Schwantz' perspective.

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I don't know much about the legality - but the optics of the way COTA and Dorna have treated a former world champion is classless.... I hope he takes them to the cleaners...