Circuit Of The Americas Confirms Austin MotoGP Date For April 21st, 2013

The Texas round of MotoGP is to go ahead. The race, due to take place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas has been confirmed for April 21st, 2013, with Dorna and the Circuit of the Americas issuing a joint press release announcing the date. The race in Texas was one of the two races marked as being subject to confirmation, but today's announcement leaves just the race in Argentina and the Jerez round to be confirmed.

Confirmation of the race comes despite the ongoing legal action between Kevin Schwantz and the Circuit of the Americas. That legal action should have no effect on the race actually taking place, however. The lawsuit filed by Schwantz against COTA will take some time to actually get in front of a judge, and the most probable outcome is that money will change hands to settle the deal, either one way or another.

The signing of the Austin contract leaves just Argentina and Jerez to be sorted out. The Jerez deal is a question of paperwork and, most likely, money; it is inconceivable that Dorna would pull out of the deal to host the first European round of the season in Jerez, where it has been for several years now. Argentina, on the other hand, is far more complex: there are reports from local Argentine sources that work on the facilities at the circuit is slow, but the bigger problem is political. The expropriation of Repsol's Argentinian subsidiary Repsol YPF by the Argentine government has deeply upset the Spanish oil giant, and Repsol has threatened not to allow the teams it backs to attend the race, saying that they cannot be certain that their property will be safe, a claim which the local organizers have denied. 

Below is the press release announcing the MotoGP race in Texas:

MotoGP™ to race in Texas in 2013 at the Circuit of The Americas™

AUSTIN, Texas (Oct. 3, 2012) – Circuit of The Americas today announced that the world’s premier motorcycle racing World Championship, MotoGP™, will join its roster of racing events next spring with the three-day series set for April 19-21, 2013, at the purpose-built Grand Prix venue. With the addition of the MotoGP series, the new circuit will be the first North American racing venue to host both two-and four-wheeled World Championship events in one year’s time.

MotoGP, the pinnacle of all motorcycle World Championships, consists of 18 races in 13 countries on four continents with pan-global television coverage. Nine nationalities of the world’s most skilled riders, including current U.S. riders Colin Edwards, Ben Spies and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden, compete with cutting-edge, prototype motorcycle technology produced by Ducati, Yamaha and Honda, as well as the new CRT regulation machines from the likes of FTR, Suter and Aprilia. The series traditionally holds three races, including Moto2 and Moto3 competitions, during each event for various classes of motorcycles based on engine size.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive officer for Dorna Sports, commercial rights holder for the MotoGP series, is extremely happy to add the Austin Circuit to the official MotoGP schedule. “We are excited to be working with Circuit of The Americas to expand our programming in the United States and bring our series to an exceptional new Grand Prix facility in Texas. We see tremendous opportunities to market MotoGP and grow its fan base through this agreement and know Circuit of The Americas is the right promoter to help us achieve that goal.”

Circuit President Steve Sexton added, “The Circuit of The Americas team is delighted to introduce yet another world-renowned racing series to our 2013 event calendar—one we know will be hugely popular with fans coming to experience MotoGP for the first time at our state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in Austin. MotoGP has a worldwide fan base with more than two million followers watching races in person each year. We’re confident it will be a great addition to our programming and draw tens of thousands of people to Central Texas, creating yet another major event with significant economic impact for our region. We want to extend our thanks to the Austin Sports Commission for its help in securing yet another first-class event for our city and for helping us become the first U.S. racing venue to host two World Championship motorsport events.”

MotoGP’s reach extends to more than 200 countries and territories that receive live or same-day delayed broadcasts of the MotoGP events, with the coverage delivered to more than 337 million households worldwide.

MotoGP 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden, who hails from Kentucky, rides for the Ducati Factory Team and said he’s eager to try out the new Austin circuit. “It’s great for riders and fans to have another MotoGP event in the United States, and Circuit of The Americas will give us a chance to expose more of our homegrown fan base to MotoGP in an up-close-and-personal way,” Hayden noted. “I love competing at new, fresh tracks and am really looking forward to racing at the Austin circuit.”

Texan Colin Edwards races for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team and their CRT project. The former World Superbike Champion said a MotoGP race at a new circuit just two hours from his home in Conroe, Texas (near Houston), means he can actually “drive to work” for a change. “Adding a race to the U.S. schedule makes a statement that MotoGP is working to expand it influence on American soil. The best way to grow our sport is to add races, and with events on the East and West Coasts—and now one in Middle America—it’s the perfect opportunity for more fans to see us in action. Plus, my family is really looking forward to jumping in a pick-up truck and driving up to Austin to see me compete.”

Rider Ben Spies, who calls Longview, Texas, “home,” is also excited about the 2013 schedule. “Who wouldn’t be excited to have a MotoGP race in their home state? I hope all of my CMRA, WERA and AMA racing friends and family storm the track. It will be so easy for me to cruise down to Circuit of The Americas from my house in Dallas.”

Tickets for the MotoGP event at Circuit of The Americas go on sale Oct. 16, 2012, will range in price from $133 to $199 and be available for purchase through Ticketmaster. Patrons with Circuit of The Americas Personal Seat Licenses will receive price discounts on MotoGP tickets. For more information, visit

About Circuit of The Americas

Circuit of The Americas will be a world-class destination for performance, entertainment, education and business. It will be the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power, and be the U.S. home to the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ Nov. 16-18.

The Circuit of The Americas’ master plan features a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and race use. Its signature element will be a 3.4-mile circuit track. Other support buildings will include an expansive outdoor live music space, a conference center, a banquet hall as well as a state-of-the-art medical facility. Future proposed amenities include a driving/riding experience, a motorsports driving club, kart track, grand plaza event center and tower, and a trackside recreational vehicle park. For more information and downloadable video, audio and photos, visit:

About MotoGP

Established as a World Championship by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) in 1949, MotoGP is now into its 63rd year. It is the pinnacle of motorcycle championships in the world and the premier-class of three racing classes that take to the track on a typical Grand Prix weekend. MotoGP has been administrated by commercial rights holder Dorna Sports under the supervision of governing body, the FIM, since 1992.

MotoGP has a rich history with Grand Prix events having taken place in every corner of the world. Italy, Japan, Great Britain, Spain, the United States and Australia are just some of the nationalities that have produced high numbers in terms of race victories and world titles in its long history. Information about MotoGP can be found online at

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COTA's F1 tickets are just this side of obscene. Between the ongoing bad PR including the whole "Schwantz gets Screwed!" debacle, and the ticket prices, I'll be surprised if the event is a great success. F1 draws plenty of the 'glitter crowd' and is probably immune to bad PR, but MotoGP is somewhat more fan-driven. As such, pissing off half the motorcyclists and race fans in the country (and probably 99% of those in Texas) is going to bite them. FWLIW, I've already made up my mind not to go.

3 day reserved seat pass for COTA MotoGP is US$133. This is almost identical to what Indianapolis charges, depending on what grandstand your reserved seats are in.

I don't think that's really getting into *obscene* territory.

Nevermind. He did say the F1 prices are obscene and I happen to agree. But then again, to me, anything other than for free would be obscene to see F1

The first thing I think of when I hear about this track is how they have allegedly screwed one of the legends of the sport. I am sure that on paper they have a way out of honouring any agreements with Schwantz, but it still looks bad on them. I have seen the press release that their own marketing department released and it specifically brags about their association with Schwantz. They have definitely gotten mileage out of his name, or tried to at least, and he should have been fairly compensated for that before it reached this level. Stop pulling the big corporate moves and get this settled, and maybe then you will find more interest in your race.

I have friends in Austin.
It would be nice to drop in on them over the race weekend.
But I'm not going to COTA.

principle still exists in my world and if KS34 is getting the "schwantz" I am not going, which is too bad as I generally make both events and would a third.


the grassroots support for Kevin.

They have indeed gotten mileage from his name and association. For those who think a handshake is as good as a wink to a blind horse- pay attention.

Hopefully they will dump Laguna instead. That's definitely not a GP circuit. It's a go-kart track according to Burgess, and they can't even get Moto2 and Moto3 there because they lack the facilities.

I wish I could give this comment zero stars. Just because Burgess says so it should go? Glad you arent in charge. Laguna Seca is easily one of the best tracks on the schedule. Its historical and technical, something that is sorely missing from all of the "new" tracks that GP goes to. Most of them are just time trial courses designed from historical tracks like Laguna. Take a corner from this track, a corner from that track, and just link them up. No wonder racers turn fast laps out of the box, there is nothing to learn except the transition from one corner to the other. I WANT ORIGINAL tracks like Laguna on the schedule

They dont get Moto2 and 3 because the AMA runs support there instead. It has nothing to do with the facilities. Originally, before we had 2 rounds in the US, the reasoning was to save the 125 and 250 teams the money of another fly away round.

Of course not. What Burgess says doesn't matter. That's pretty much my stock repsonse when anyone says Indy needs to go, as they inevitably think that Laguna is "perfect" and for some reason it's always an "either/or" proposition. Is Laguna a good track? Sure. It's a little short and a little small, with no real straight, but that's OK, it's still a decent track. Easily one of the best? Nope, thats a stretch. Mugello, Brno, Phillip Island, Assen, Jerez, Catalunya are all definitely better tracks. There's a few more I'd throw in front of Laguna as well. Every time anyone brings up the US GP rounds, someone always says Indy has to go. Why? Why would anyone want any of the US rounds to go away?

Indy may not be a great track (I've ridden it at a Schwantz school and thought it was awesome, but I have no frame of reference. I'm sure many tracks are much more fun and more challenging), but the GP weekend is a great time. Well organized, plenty of places to watch the racing from, plenty of other things to do on the weekend. I've loved going for the past 5 years. But, I'm not going to go to Texas or Laguna. Why? Too far. Once I have to get on a plane it's no longer cost effective. I'd venture that a good portion of the people there on race day this year would be in the same boat. And there were still 60,000+ there on race day, close to what there was at Silverstone this year, and they LIKE bike racing in England.

Moto2 and Moto3 aren't at Laguna because they chose not to have them, they wanted to maintain that dual AMA/International Series thing - which made sense when it was WSBK, not so much with GP. Indy has run a GP for 5 years, and Laguna hasn't switched to allow the 2 and 3 teams to race. No other round doesn't have the 2 and 3 races. Just Laguna.

If you havent ridden it, you cant understand why people love it. Ride it and understand why most world class riders will call it one of the best tracks on the planet. The front straight is def fast as was evident by Nicky Hayden doing double darkies over the hill and through the bend on the straight back on the RC211V.

All the things that you describe as "problems," are reasons why I like the track. Its different. It forces the riders to adjust their style and their strategy. Its old school and not a point and shoot track with 10 ft of elevation changes like most of the new tracks out there.

I think the riders generally love Laguna and I bet they hate Indy. Look how many were seriously injured at Indy this year. Would you want to ride there? The track cost Casey Stoner at shot at the Championship. I live in Austin, TX and have driven the 4,000 mile round trip to Laguna Seca for the last 7 years. It is a wonderful experience, a racing family, unlike the money grubbing corporate machine that COTA appears to be. No one at Laguna would ever consider screwing over Schwantz ... or anyone else. Plus, there is wonderful camping at the track. The truth about Moto 2 and 3 at Laguna is that the paddock area is not large enough. I have talked to the GM of the track about it and that's what he told me. My real dilemma is whether to continue to do the 4,000 mile road trip to Laguna Seca after MotoGP comes to Austin. I doubt if the COTA experience can begin to compare to Laguna Seca but I would love to see Moto 2 and 3.

1) These ticket prices are unquestionably in line with other tracks for a three day pass.

2) The COTA event is in a state that has a budget and wealth that many countries in the world would envy. It will be well attended and a huge success.

3) Kevin is a true hero of our sport but no one knows what has transpired between him and COTA. It will eventually get sorted out but to take a side at this point is like connecting the nose of the horse to the rear of the cart - no?

"1) These ticket prices are unquestionably in line with other tracks for a three day pass."

Only true if you look at reserved seat prices. Indy has the General Admission option for $60 for all 3 days. Which doesn't mean you don't get a seat, or are left to sit on the grass somewhere. You can sit on the front straight, see the pit boxes, or sit in the stands to see turns 1-5, or sit in the infield on spectator mounds to see turns 6-9, or in the stands on the back section and see turns 11-16. If I had to see only one part of the circuit during the weekend because that's where my seat is I'd go crazy. Hopefully COTA has a GA option that's reasonable and enough viewing areas to make it worthwhile.

The last thing Schwantz would want to see are empty stands at the first GP race in his home state.

He's not a defenseless little pup, he's got his legal team and his challenge with COTA and it will get resolved, probably through some sort of settlement (as law suites almost always do).

If you want to support Schwantz then do it productively... send letters/emails to COTA, attend the race, and where a shirt that same something in big letters, like "Kevin got Schwantzed by COTA", or something hopefully better.

Not attending the race, sitting at home with your arms crossed doesn't do Kevin any good, and doesn't do MotoGP any good.

Mailing Address
Circuit of The Americas
P.O. Box 849
Austin, Texas 78767

Having ridden to all the races at Laguna Seca since 2005 (1,700 miles) and Indianapolis since 2008 (1,200 miles), I'm delighted to have an event less than 100 miles away. Shame about Schwantz though.

I'll be there. This will easily be America's best track.

Indy is an embarrassment. Just look at all the high sides this year alone. Multiple types of asphalt? The track needs to go from the calendar.

Laguna? If you've been there you'd understand how technical that track is. The riders like it, respect it, and often site how demanding it is on them and the bike. Is it a track that lets them use 6th gear, no. But it does have one of the best turns in the world. The area is fantastic (right on the left coast) and it'll remain because it is close to the US corp hq's of the Japanese factories.