Following Sunday's German race, five riders have broken clear at the head of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.
Marc Marquez (Honda), Dani Pedrosa (Honda), Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) are all covered by 37 points, with ten rounds and 250 points still up for grabs.
Meanwhile a gap of 27 points, over one race win, now exists between Rossi and sixth place Andrea Dovizioso.
With Pedrosa and Lorenzo both missing the Sachsenring round due to injury, each of the 'fast five' has now suffered one non-score so far this year.
“It is good. Very interesting,” said seven time champion Rossi of the 2013 title situation. “Five is a big number. All five are very fast and very strong, with enough experience to be fast at all the racetracks. We have the best bikes I think. So now we have to do a better job - it would be more interesting if we are all within ten points!”
Rossi, third behind Marquez and Crutchlow in Sunday's Sachsenring round, added that Pedrosa and reigning double champion Lorenzo remain the riders to beat.
“The situation now is very close. Sincerely what I think is that Dani and Jorge, if they are 100 percent fit, are the strongest. But Marc is in front now and did a podium every time except the mistake in Mugello. For me and Cal - I don't want to speak for Cal - but for me, if I want to fight for the podium every race I need to go faster and be more constant. We are not so far but we need to do another step.”
Rookie Marquez, who is just two points clear of team-mate Pedrosa after his second victory of the season, is pleased to see the title race so close. But he also hopes for more battles at the front of the field.
“Five riders within 37 points - it will be interesting and a nice championship for sure,” said the young Spaniard. “I think for the show it is great. For me, the more riders in front the better and I can learn a bit more. Today I got a lot of experience [controlling the race from the front] but I enjoy more the races like Montmelo, Jerez where I follow some riders and need to push the whole race.”
Crutchlow is the only non-factory rider in the top five and concentrating on claiming his first MotoGP win. The Englishman believes the title outcome is impossible to predict.
“It's up in the air so much!” he said. “You don't know what can happen next week. I'm not looking at the championship, I want as many podiums as I can and I want to win a race.
“I think it's completely up in the air. Anything can happen. This morning Dani was going to race and then he didn't come to the grid. So it can be anybody's.
“It's nice to be in the front five. It was one of my goals at the start of the year. We are making a not bad season, but it's definitely difficult with Marc, Jorge, Dani and Vale. They are strong.”
Of the eight races so far, Lorenzo has won 3, Pedrosa 2, Marquez 2 and Rossi 1.
The podium count is divided 7 for Marquez, 5 for Pedrosa, 5 for Lorenzo, 4 for Crutchlow and 3 for Rossi.
Pedrosa is expected to return at this weekend's US GP. Lorenzo - who re-damaged his broken collarbone at the Sachsenring - is yet to definitely confirm his plans.Be there! CLICK HERE to see ticket prices for the remaining rounds of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship from the Official MotoGP Ticket Store.