"Of course you like to be at the top, because then you have some margin, and some points between... now it's 10 points. You prefer to lead the championship because if you do a mistake, like in Le Mans this year where I crashed and took only three points, they reduce the advantage, maybe they overtake you, but you're there. But if you're second or third, you know that you cannot lose, you cannot do any mistake."
A 10-point lead on Lorenzo - how fragile is it?
"For me honestly, 10 points are like nothing. Because in the next race, if I finish third and he wins, it's only one point. So 10 points is better than nothing, but we are very, very close. Valentino is also only 22 points behind... after seven races, the first three riders are within less than 25 points: this will be tight until the end."
Rossi or Lorenzo - who's tougher on the track?
"It depends. On the racetrack, when Lorenzo has the day, he is really, really fast. He is stronger than Valentino. For me, Lorenzo is faster around a lap, but on the other side, Valentino has a lot of experience, he knows how he can take the profit of any situation. He's very tough to beat when he's having a fast race. Even if he isn't the fastest guy of the weekend, he's able to get there. He is very consistent."
You shook hands with Rossi in Barcelona. Is your rivalry officially over?
"You know, for me, the rivalry is with all the riders. On the track, you want to beat your teammates, your friends - and the guys from other teams. In the end, all the riders, we must have a professional relationship because we are taking a lot of risks on the track. I already said after the Valencia's race - my hand is here. It arrived late, but it arrived, and this is the most important. I don't have any problem."
You've trained in Austria at the Red Bull Ring on June 14 - a good preview of what the Spielberg MotoGP will entail here on August 14?
"I'd have liked to try with the MotoGP bikes, but because of the rules, we don't have enough days to train here. But with these bikes, it's very similar and this test is important. We will be here in two months, riding with different bikes, but as least, we will already know the track."