Mitchell Oldenburg - Minnesota Motorcycle Hall of Fame Member

Mitchell Oldenburg - Motocross

Updated October 2021

Mitchell is originally from Minnesota, but moved to Texas a few years before he turned pro. He did not have an amateur career that gained much attention, so when he when he started putting in strong rides as a rookie in 2013, many in the press didn’t know much about him, or that he grew up in Minnesota. He gained a spot on a factory team in 2016. He has shown good speed, and results, every time he’s stayed healthy, but unfortunately, he has been injured often in his pro career.

2021 - Mitchell returned to the team he rode with in 2020. There was a new title sponsor, so it was no longer known as Penrite Honda, but as Muc-Off Honda. The team continued to race the Supercross series only.

Riding the 250 East Supercross series, he was in the 4 - 8 position every round he finished. He was lucky to survive a highlight reel crash at Round 3. His bike locked up while launching a triple, causing a severe endo. He took a hard hit to the ground, while his bike flipped off the track. He was sitting in sixth when the series took it’s very long break.

With teammate Justin Brayton injured, the team entered Oldenburg in the 450 class several times during the break. He qualified for four 450 Mains with his best finish a 13th in the deep field. Mitchell was injured while preparing for the last two rounds of 250 West series, and dropped to 9th in the series.

Oldenburg will ride Supercross for the Smartop/Bullfrogs/MotoConcepts Honda team in 2022. He’ll be racing a 250 in one region, and a 450 when that region is on break. His teammate from 2021, Justin Brayton, also signed with the team.

Yearly Recaps:

2013 – Mitchell qualified for the first five mains in 250 East Supercross with very little support. He was injured at the Toronto round, but came back the next race and finished the season, qualifying for the rest of the rounds. His best finish was a 7th at Indianapolis, nearly finishing in the top 10 overall, despite riding through an injury. Mitchell competed in 6 rounds of the 250 Motocross championship, riding as a privateer. He finished in the points several times, with a season-best 16th at Red Bud, and was 34th overall in the championship.

2014 - Riding pretty much as a privateer, Mitchell started out the 250 East SX series strong, finishing 10th the first two times out. He faded a bit from that, and missed 2 rounds, but rebounded with a season-best 6th at Las Vegas, to finish 14th in the championship.

With limited sponsorship, Mitchell ran a limited outdoor schedule, catching the nationals that were relatively close to his base in Texas. At High Point, Tennessee, and Red Bud, he rode in the 250 class, but found riding a privateer bike in a field of supported teams was difficult, scoring a 16th and 19th in six motos. He switched to the 450 class at Millville, and had a season-best 16-12. He improved to 13-13 at Unadilla. At muddy Indiana, despite scoring no points, he really got some attention by running top three in the first moto. He finished the year with a season-best tenth in the second 450 moto of Utah.

2015 - Mitchell came into the 250 East Supercross championship showing eye-opening speed, but mixing that in with highlight-reel crashes. He finished 8th on two occasions on the way to 12th overall, just 2 points away from getting in the Top Ten. In Houston, Mitchell took advantage of a relatively recent rule change that allows riders to race the 450 class with a 250. He qualified and finished a very respectable 14th place. It is believed that he is the first (and only, as of this post) rider to get a 250 into a 450 Main.

Coming into the 250 nationals, Mitchell got a ride on the high-powered TLD KTM team, filling a seat of one of their injured riders. It was an adjustment, but the speed was there, just not always the consistency. He finished 16th in the championship with a moto-best finish of 8th. His riding earned him a spot on the team, now the factory arm of KTM 250s, for the 2016 Supercross season.

2016 – Mitchell rode the 250 West Supercross region, and after some solid results, and injuries to teammates, was the top rider for the TLD KTM Team. He was close to the podium with two 4ths and two 5ths, but his other races were much more consistent than years past, and he finished a career-best 6th in the championship.

This year, Mitchell was slated to ride the whole outdoor season on the TLD KTM Team, rather than entering the season with a “try-out” status. He rode with much more consistency, and with the injuries and other issues of his teammates, was the top finishing rider on the team. He finished 10th in the 250 championship, in a year that saw nearly 20 riders with high levels of support. He was in the top ten regularly with his best moto finish being a 7-7 at High Point. He goes into the 2017 season as a full member of the TLD KTM Team.

2017 – Oh what might have been for Mitchell in the 250 West championship. After finishing a strong 4th at the opener, he was injured in Round 2. Coming back for the last three rounds he finished 3rd and 2nd in the 250 West rounds, then 5th in the combined Vegas round. Despite missing 5 of 9 rounds, his strong finishes got him to 10th in championship.

He went into the motocross season healthy, on a great team, and ready to compete at the highest level. After a going 6 – 12 at Hangtown, he was hurt at Round 2, and despite some hopeful announcements, never appeared in any other rounds. In mid-October, it was announced that Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha had signed him to a two-year deal that will keep him in the 250 Class for 2018 and 2019.

2018 - Mitchell switched teams to the 250 powerhouse, Star Racing Yamaha. Riding in the 250 West class, he showed speed but was hurt early and didn’t get many chances to show it. He was top 5 in a deep field every race he started and finished.

In a RacerX interview after the season, he gave all the details. “I broke my collarbone in 2017 in San Diego, and kind of got some bad advice from some doctors, which set me back. I had a plate on my collarbone and it broke at the end of the plate so we moved the plate over. Then it broke at the beginning of the plate so we took the plate off and bone grafted it and tried to get it as strong as we could. Then last year in Phoenix I crashed during practice and broke it in two spots and didn’t even know it. It was weird. All the pain I had was in my arm. All the trauma I’ve had to that shoulder in the last couple years, I think I lost some feeling in my collarbone area.”

I tried racing Oakland because nothing was popping up that was wrong with my arm, then I found out my collarbone was broken in two spots. Now its plated end-to-end and I feel like we’re in a good spot with the shoulder. I came back and raced Seattle, and after that I was riding outdoors and only had a lap-and-a-half left in the day when I tipped over in a corner, stuck my leg out wrong, and blew my ACL and MCL out.“

The injuries lead to a long recovery period. He was out for the entire Motocross season.

2019 - Mitchell returned to the Yamalube/ Star Racing Yamaha team, fully healed from all his injuries, but still coming off a long layoff from racing. He was consistently one of the fastest riders in qualifying, but poor starts held him back. His worse finish was fifth, but a series of crashes prevented him from qualifying in the East / West round in Atlanta, and then the same thing happened in Vegas. He still finished seventh in the championship, but could have been in the top 3 or 4 without those 2 DNQs.

Oldenburg looked like a favorite for the win at Vegas, after finishing second in the previous round and riding strong in qualifying. Not only did that not happen, but after his crash in the LCQ, he ended up getting third degree burns on his upper leg and back. He was trapped under a bike with a red-hot exhaust system.

The injury Mitchell sustained in the Supercross series kept him out of action until Round 4 of the 250 Motocross series. He often showed good speed, but unlike his teammates, other than 2 holeshots, his starts were not good, and he struggled to put it all together for a good result. He finished in the top 10 in only 4 motos, his best finish being a 9th at Unadilla. He ended the series in 17th.

2020 - Mitchell was released from the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha team at the end of 2019. He was able to find a ride with the Penrite Honda team, racing the Australian Supercross series in the 250 class. He won 2 races and finished a close third in the championship.

The team decided to go racing in the US, and although he wasn’t in their original plans, his strong results lead the team owner to include Mitchell in the team’s maiden voyage in 250 West Supercross. Mitchell had a tough start on the new team, qualifying, but not able to get a good finish at A1. After that, he was consistently in the 6 – 8 range. Then he broke his collarbone in practice at San Diego, the last round before the break.

With the break taking much longer than anyone could have foreseen, Mitchell was healed and able to race the last 3 rounds. His three solid races in SLC landed him 8th in the points, despite missing a round.

He did not participate in the 2020 US Motocross series.