The result may have been expected but Jorge Lorenzo was made to work harder than he thought would be necessary in Sunday's MotoGP race in Barcelona thanks to an inspired Valentino Rossi charge.

Statistics will say that Lorenzo led each of the race's 25 laps - just as he did in Jerez, Le Mans and Mugello - but the Majorcan labeled the event 'one of my hardest races' after seeing Valentino Rossi skim tenths off his lead in the closing laps.

Lorenzo survived an early scare when Marc Marquez avoided hitting him as they braked for turn ten. With the reigning world champion crashing out as he ran off track, it seemed victory was a foregone conclusion.

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More so by lap twelve, when he stretched his lead out to 2.2 seconds. However, higher temperatures didn't allow Lorenzo to run the same pace as he did on Saturday, allowing Rossi back into victory contention.

"That was one of my hardest races, especially the last ten laps," said Lorenzo, now the leader of the past 103 laps in the 2015 championship. "I was keeping this distance to Valentino who has been riding so well in these hot temperatures.

"It's been very difficult for me to repeat the pace of yesterday morning so much slower and less grip with the front tyre. I was keeping this 2.0 [second lead] but I was risking a lot and going at the limit. Suddenly in one lap he recovered me six tenths. I think by myself, 'Jorge, you have to push even harder.' Risking more, risking the crash. Normally I don't do this but today I had to. Valentino was getting more motivated to catch me and he would do it.

"The next lap I improve just a little bit more on braking and opening the throttle. I improve one tenth and the distance keep. So finally 1.2s at the end of the race this time has been enough to win the race but [it was] really, really hard. Harder than ever."

Lorenzo's pace and consistency on Saturday was untouchable yet most of the grid complained of a lack of grip in the race. In the post-race press conference the 28-year old said he could see from morning warm-up that his M1's performance levels wouldn't be the same.

"I saw from the warm-up lap that the grip of the tyre was not the same. The rear tyre didn't give me the same grip and when the rear slides on our bike also the front is closing a little bit more.

"I also had to brake a bit earlier, carry less corner speed and in this weekend we had to reduce the power more in acceleration compared to other tracks to solve a little bit the pumping on the exit of corners. This time the weather didn't help us and maybe for Valentino his set-up was a little better in this hot temperature."

"I was wishing that Valentino just close a little bit the throttle and stay this 1.2s difference. But I saw he was really fast on the last lap and he recovered four tenths so he must be very quick on the last lap. Too quick!"

The result, which signaled Yamaha's second one-two finish in three races, leaves Lorenzo trailing Rossi by just one point as they head to Assen.

The fact Lorenzo won his fourth race on the bounce - only Doohan, Crivill?, Rossi and Marquez have done so in the past 28 years - in more trying circumstances than the previous three gave the Movistar Yamaha man great delight.

"It's just the seventh race but the championship is very close between us. Valentino almost always improves something on Sunday. He's a Sunday rider. On Sunday he gets much more victories than pole positions. He's much more strong, more constant.

"Luckily for me I'm also constant and focused. Today I had to give this extra risk more to not lose the race. It has been important to get this victory because today the bike was not the same as on Saturday like in Mugello or Le Mans or these tracks."