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."