Years ago, when Tavo Hellmund first got the fairly insane idea to bring Formula One racing to Austin, Texas, he called his buddy Kevin Schwantz to ask what would make the track great for the world championship of motorcycle racing as well.
He picked a good guy to get input from. Schwantz, in addition to being Texan and thus having a natural appreciation for speed, is a veteran motorcycle racer and 1993's 500cc world champion. He would later help design the 3.4-mile Circuit of the Americas.
Having settled the early disputes that came with the circuit's genesis, Schwantz is now the motorcycle racing ambassador for it. Don't let that lofty title fool you — he still knows how to drag knees with the best of them.
I've never taken a motorcycle around COTA, but I've been privileged to drive it several times, and I can tell you it's a tough, technical, deeply challenging course. In this video, Schwantz explains what it's like for riders as well, and why he thinks it's one of the most "physical" tracks anywhere in the world for motorcyclists.
MotoGP is coming to COTA next month. Are you going?
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