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."
|Germany will respond against Sweden, insists Low|
|´The best among all Asians´, South Korea trust in Son against Mexico|
|Stalin´s bunker an unlikely site for Russia´s World Cup charm offensive|
|England v Panama: Rashford tipped to start as Southgate´s side aim for last 16|
|Erasmus wary of ´wonderful´ Cipriani|
|Hummels to miss Germany-Sweden, confirms Low|
|Murray accepts Eastbourne wildcard|
|St Petersburg madness lines up Neymar and Brazil with heroes of the past|
|Martinez happy to be ´boring Belgium´|
|Japan v Senegal: Squeaky clean Group H rivals eyeing huge step towards last 16|
|Argentina team the worst in history - Ardiles|
|Ravanelli upsets wife by taking Arsenal job...in Kiev|
|Federer moves a step closer to 10th title in Halle|
|Brazil 2 Costa Rica 0: Coutinho and Neymar score in stoppage time to snatch win|
|Andersson: Sweden embracing big occasion as bug sweeps through team|
|LeBron in ´good dialogue´ with Cavaliers|
|Ronaldo will always be the best, Fonte claims|
|Southgate criticises press for England team leak|
|O´Mahony: Series win in Australia would be up there with Grand Slam|
|Khedira thrilled with Can capture, staying with Juventus|
|Samuel open to Higuain-Icardi swap deal|
|It´s just a game - Milligan disappointed by Kruse criticism|
|From drug-testing lab to gastro pub: Sochi happy not to forget dark past|
|Ronaldo will do what is best for him, says Carvajal|
|Kohli: India will feel at home in England|
|Barca target Lenglet yet to decide future|
|Germany perform best under pressure, Klose claims|
|Juanfran signs one-year Atletico Madrid extension|
|Julian Nagelsmann: The remarkable rise of RB Leipzig|
|Sterling: my daughter is Liverpool through and through!|
|Van Bommel to take charge of PSV|
|Hansen urges France not to ´squeal´ over decisions|
|Intelligent Jones will turn England´s fortunes around - Moody|
|Nainggolan confirms imminent Inter transfer|
|U.S. Open missed cut may be blessing in disguise - McIlroy|
|Schmidt in no rush to decide on his future|
|Wallabies treating decider as grand final - Hooper|
|Salah won´t leave World Cup, Egypt FA boss claims|
|Chandimal, Hathurusinghe and Gurusinha admit ´serious´ conduct breach|
|Mikal Bridges´ 76ers dreams dashed in dramatic draft twist|
|They want to pull you down - Sterling hits out at tabloid press|
|Lazaridis wants West Ham to stick with Mexico star Hernandez|
|Get behind Sterling, urges Henderson|
|Sampaoli begs for Argentina´s forgiveness|
|The 2018 NBA Draft first round in full|
|Everything still to play for against ´very strong´ France, says Eriksen|
|Cubs bested by Harvey, Yankees sweep Mariners|
|Spurs GM: We´ll do what we can to keep Leonard|
|Lovren: This Croatia team are better than 1998 heroes|
|Internationals Musa, Okobo selected in NBA Draft|
|Modric is the world´s best number 10 – Arbeloa|
|Kurz stay crucial to Jakobsen´s Adelaide move|
|Nuggets end Porter´s slide at number 14|
|Argentina were crying like girls – Vrsaljko|
|Cavaliers select Sexton with number eight overall pick|
|Argentina must ´pray´ results go their way, says Mascherano|
|Grizzlies select Jackson with number four pick|
|Hawks select Doncic with third pick, trade him to Mavericks|
|Kings take Bagley with number two pick|
|Suns select Ayton number one overall in NBA Draft|
|Argentina concerns grow as Dalic vows to rest players against Iceland|
|Messi could retire after World Cup, says Zabaleta|
|Spieth, McIlroy off to hot starts at Travelers Championship|
|Let Sampaoli say what he wants - Aguero angry at Argentina loss|
|Perisic: Messi is the best, but Argentina do not play as a team|
|Dominant England are ´spoiled´ by options, says Morgan|
|Argentina squad ´clouds´ Messi´s brilliance, claims Sampaoli|
|Fagner to start for Brazil due to Danilo injury|
|Arzani lauds leader Jedinak and remains confident on last-16 chances|
|Croatia cut Messi off in Argentina thrashing - Modric|