Marc Marquez says the four-way battle for MotoGP supremacy is exhausting to be involved in, but he is relishing the fight.
Marquez leads the way during MotoGP's mid-season break, but he, Maverick Vinales, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi are covered by just 10 points after nine races.
The Repsol Honda rider, and reigning champion, won from pole in Germany last time out, mastering the Sachsenring for an eighth year in a row across all classes to take top spot in the championship for the first time in 2017.
Chasing a fourth premier-class title at just 24, Marquez is thrilled to be involved in a fight, the like of which he cannot recall.
Marquez becomes the 4th different Championship leader this season and now just 10 points split the top 4— MotoGP (@MotoGP) July 2, 2017
Again...WHAT A SEASON pic.twitter.com/l5TCNjB0qA
Marquez told Omnisport: "Certainly, we would prefer to lead the championship by more than five points, but this is the situation.
"We know that everything is very close, but a championship like this, with a lot of rivals, is exhausting.
"But it motivates you at the same time. It is exciting and an extra motivation.
"I am young, but I don't remember a championship as close as this one.
"After nine races, there are five riders within 26 points, four of them within 10 points. Everything is so close, and it makes it even more difficult, because you know that you can't fail.
"You have to control not just yourself, but four other riders that can take advantage every race. But that is why you have this motivation, everything can change a lot from one race to the next."
Though he now leads the way, Marquez will not rest on his laurels for the remainder of the campaign.
"Changes are always welcome. Changes, improvements…trying to do a bit more," he added.
"Next week we have a training in Brno and we will try to improve a bit more to prepare much better the second part of the season.
"I as a rider, my team as technicians, we all try to improve and give a bit more. We are aware that there are circuits where we have suffered, and will suffer… and there are many others where we have been strong and we will attack there in the second half of the season."
|Kuyt lauds ´exciting´ Salah|
|MLS Review: Wright-Phillips lifts Red Bulls, Crew win again|
|Philadelphia´s young stars fuel win over Timberwolves|
|Halep exits as Kerber, Azarenka win through|
|Rangers coach Johnson hit in face by foul ball|
|Federer falls as Zverev, Kyrgios progress in Miami|
|CA to investigate ball-tampering incident|
|Clarke not ruling out Australia return|
|Jaguares upset Lions in Buenos Aires|
|Clarke slams ´disgraceful´ Australia over ball-tampering|
|Spurs star Kane the world´s best player, claims Son|
|Whyte calls out Wilder after dispatching Browne|
|Federer to skip clay-court season again|
|Cardiff maintain winning streak, Leinster beaten|
|Montpellier march on, Brive climb off the bottom|
|De Gea and Ter Stegen criticise World Cup ball|
|Kisner thrashes Poulter to set up Thomas Match Play semi-final|
|Kokkinakis stuns Federer in Miami|
|Neymar to Real Madrid stories a media game, says PSG´s Pastore|
|Falcons rise to the occasion at St James´ Park|
|Celtics´ Irving to return in three to six weeks after surgery|
|Poulter forgets Oosthuizen´s Masters nightmare|
|Miami Open organisers unaware of Wozniacki abuse|
|FA condemns England supporters after trouble in Amsterdam|
|Warriors star Curry´s regular season over after MCL sprain|
|Radwanska stuns Halep to open up Miami draw|
|This is the real Michy - Batshuayi back on track at Dortmund|
|Atherton, Waqar, Du Plessis and now Bancroft - A brief history of ball tampering in cricket|
|Sweden 1 Chile 2: Bolados strikes late winner on debut|
|Stormers hold off rallying Reds at Newlands|
|Italy to name new coach in May, Costacurta confirms|
|Garcia eliminated as Thomas´ Match Play charge continues|
|Wozniacki demands action after Miami Open abuse|
|Smith will not stand down as Australia captain, despite role in Bancroft ball-tampering plot|
|Canada 1 New Zealand 0: Herdman enjoys winning start thanks to Ricketts|
|I saw an opportunity to change the ball condition - Bancroft|
|Wilshere withdraws from England squad to face Italy|
|Colombia collapse a slap for France, says Giroud|
|Vazquez wants Spain to face Messi|
|Gotze, Sahin mentoring Jadon Sancho at Dortmund|
|Low to make changes for Brazil friendly as injured Can heads home|
|Conti targets Milan derby for injury return|
|Bancroft charged over ball-tampering incident|
|Bancroft faces ball-tampering allegations as South Africa take control of third Test|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton out to make pole count, Ricciardo ready to fight|
|Northern Ireland 2 South Korea 1: Son frustrated as World Cup preparations stutter|
|Olympiacos & Nottingham Forest owner denies any wrongdoing over drug trafficking charges|
|I´ll dance with the fans - Gayle ready to party in Harare|
|Two games in two days! Ireland´s Doyle returns from Turkey to play for Bradford|
|Bancroft caught up in ball-tampering row|
|Everything is fine again! Khedira offers positive fitness update|
|Puyol ´doesn´t see any problem´ with Neymar joining Real Madrid|
|Spain already know their team - Sampaoli seeks Argentina certainty|
|No offers for ´happy´ Bellerin, insists Arsenal full-back´s agent|
|F1 teams up with Netflix for documentary series|
|Iker is trembling already! - Ramos hunting down Casillas´ cap record|
|Warriors leave it late to preserve winning start, Hayne injures hip|
|Silva leaves Spain squad for personal reasons|
|Egypt coach Cuper declares Salah among world´s best|
|A-League Review: Simon haunts managerless Mariners, Jakobsen opens City account|
|Ricciardo: I´ve been shot in the ankle before season has even started|
|Alvarez temporarily suspended over positive test|
|Ronaldo trumps Salah, Messi missing - winners and losers from Friday´s internationals|
|Giggs wants Bale to stay at Real Madrid|
|Canes end Highlanders´ winning run|
|Bottas ´sorry´ for qualifying crash|
|Muller and Ozil set to miss Brazil friendly|
|´I wanted to wipe the smile off your face´ - Hamilton-Vettel rivalry already simmering|
|Ramos hails Spain´s belief after Germany draw|
|Buffon not ready to walk away as Italy look to the future|