Marc Marquez regained the lead of the MotoGP world championship with a close second place finish behind Valentino Rossi in Sunday's Catalunya round.

Marquez was the only rider that could stay with Rossi, the pair swapping the lead until less than three laps to go.

But already aware that title leader Jorge Lorenzo was out of the race, and after saving several moments, Marquez admits he settled for the 20 points.

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"Honestly today I was on the limit for the whole race behind Valentino. I was losing a lot in T1, T2. In T3 I could keep the distance, but my only strong point was T4," he said. "Then in the middle of the race I had a big moment there. I nearly crashed. And when I saw Lorenzo out my mind changed a little bit.

"I was planning the last laps, but was not really comfortable. Not like at Mugello. I tried, but I was not 100 percent convinced. Maybe this was the main mistake. Because I was there, but at the same time thinking about the championship.

"Then with two laps to go I had another big moment, nearly crashed, so I say 'ok, stop, 20 points is enough'. We lead the championship and that was most important after this weekend."

Winner in Argentina and Austin, Marquez will now take a 10-point lead over Lorenzo, and 22-point advantage over Rossi, in Assen at the end of the month.

"The main target for me in this first part of the season was try to go out from Catalunya as close as possible to the top guy," he said. "We are leading the championship and now are some different circuits that I like much more.

"We have an important test tomorrow. I was scared about, or had some questions, about Mugello and Catalunya because they are tracks where the Yamaha works really good. But we were there.

"So I feel confident for the next races. We took a lot of risks at Mugello and here but we were able to be there and now we need to manage the situation."

Marquez's form has been especially impressive given the handling issues Honda riders have been battling since the winter - team-mate and next best RC213V competitor Dani Pedrosa being 43 points behind - and he is looking forward to trying some new developments at Monday's official test.

"Honestly compared to Qatar we have a small modification in the electronics but the rest of the bike is the same," he revealed. "So we must work. Tomorrow I have some items to try and we will see."