Saturday, March 23, 2013

My challenge to MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 teams: Ask, "Where's Kevin?"

Last fall, when Kevin Schwantz filed a suit against the Austin's Circuit of the Americas, I wrote,

...if I was Dorna, I'd have told COTA, "Hey, we want Kevin to be involved, not an adversary." He's a charismatic guy, well known to local Austin media and beloved by specialist motorcycle media all over the world. Why on earth would you want him as an enemy? It would have been cheaper and strategically wiser to cut him a minority stake in the event.

Unless you just emerged from a coma, you already know about the latest round of tit-for-tat press releases, sparked by COTA's threatening, bullying behavior -- Kevin showed up at a recent test as an invited guest of a participating team and was told that he was trespassing and that if he ever came back he'd be horsewhipped, tarred, and feathered.

I still say it would be smarter to have found a way to make America's most popular GP racer a part of the event. But it seems that they'll host a MotoGP round in Texas next month, and the single person you'd most expect and want to find at the event will be locked out of it.
Texans know bullshit.
I certainly don't know what really went on between Schwantz, Dorna, COTA, and Hellmund. I'm guessing it will eventually come out in court. But to the limited extent that I know any current or ex-GP heroes, Kevin's the one I know best. I don't think he's delusional; I highly doubt that he just imagined that he'd have a role in promoting MotoGP in Austin. I do think that he's a Texan, who would feel that the handshake, not the signature, formed the contract.

No matter what the deal was, it's now obvious that COTA will put on Austin's MotoGP race sans Schwantz. When it's over, they'll pat themselves on the back, and tell themselves they don't need no stinkin' #34. They'll have attracted all the riders, they'll generate global press, and motorcyclists will be impressed by the facility.

The question isn't, How much will the absence of Schwantz have hurt them, the question is, How much would the presence of Schwantz have helped them? Dorna: Only ONE number has ever been retired in the premier class, and it's 34. He's got fans all over the world, and remains one of the sport's most popular ambassadors. You couldn't manage to broker a peace treaty?!?

If the organizers won't call for justice, or even common decency, I say it is up to the teams. I say it's up to MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 teams to ask, "Where's Kevin?" by creating stickers with this logo, and affixing them to their bikes, leathers, helmets, etc.
Considering how much effort Schwantz has put into coaching and rider development, I think that the support classes should show their support. Spies and Edwards, fellow Texans, should also get on the #Where'sKevin? tweet wagon. And so should lots and lots of fans.

Who else, on the grid, will have the balls to ask, "Where's Kevin?"

5 comments:

  1. Here's my viewpoint. http://fof1atx.blogspot.com/2013/03/free-34.html

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  3. Great stuff Mark. When this shit started hitting the fan some of us got going. www.freekevin34.com was built with Kevin's OK that all proceeds from sales of protest shirts bearing a unique logo be donated to the Marco Simoncelli Foundation (just more proof that Kevin gets the sport). I'm in the process of confirming and alternate watching opportunity near downtown Austin on the 21st for those who wish to catch the race, but choose to not spend their dollars at the track. We're also encouraging attendees to wear their Schwantz gear to the track as many are already committed and have bought tickets (including myself). I’m happy to send you the artwork for that protest logo, as a single universal logo will have the impact we are seeking to show support for a Champion who’s only mission has been to support race fans.

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  4. Come and support Kevin in austin on the 19th April

    bit.ly/texasgp

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