Valentino Rossi believes Marc Marquez is leading the riders' standings because of his consistent finishes throughout the season.
While defending champion Marquez crashed out in Argentina and France, he has never finished below sixth position, with his most recent win at the Sachsenring moving him to the top of the championship race.
"Marquez is leading because in the times he was most in trouble, he lost fewer points than we did in our most difficult moments," the veteran told autosport.com.
"So he has been very strong, he won when he needed to, but when he struggled he limited the damage very well. That's why he's in the lead."
However, with just 26 points separating Marquez at the top and Dani Pedrosa in fifth, the title race is still wide open. Rossi is currently fourth, ten points behind the Spaniard.
"I think all of us that are fighting for the world championship at this time are on the same level," continued Rossi, who has finished runner-up in the riders’ standings for the past three years.
"There is no favourite. I would not discount Pedrosa, either, he isn't far behind. Nobody can predict what will happen in the next races of the championship. I don't think we can say there's a race I can definitely win."
The tenth round of the 2017 MotoGP world championship takes place on 6 August in Brno in the Czech Republic.