Four races into the 2017 MotoGP season and a man who hasn't won a single race so far in the lead for the title.

SEVEN-time top class World Champion Valentino Rossi leads the Championship by just two points ahead of Yamaha teammate Maverick Vinales, with both Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa close behind.

With the media fixated on the typical 'top guys' in the Sport at the start of this season, early title battle predictions had been proven true. Maverick Vinales, who moved from Suzuki to Yamaha this season, was touted as the 'real deal', and after winning the first two races of the season, he really was.

Valentino Rossi, so close to the title in 2015, vindicated his tag of a 'Sunday man' by recovering from poor qualifying performances in the first two races to grab podium finishes.

Current champion Marc Marquez had a tame start to the season, failing to reach the podium in Qatar, and crashing out of the lead in Argentina.

Dani Pedrosa, who has never won a top class title despite tight title battles in the past, has a mixed start to the season as well.

Two races later, and the title picture looks as tight as it's been for years.

The 'Little Samurai' lives on

Jerez marks the start of the European leg of the championship, and the 'usual suspects' had to stand back and admire Dani Pedrosa's comfortable ride to victory on Sunday, which topped off a dominant weekend from Pedrosa who, previously, had only won ONE race in 2016.

The 3000th MotoGP race marked a stunning return to form for the Spaniard, who finished a few seconds ahead of teammate Marquez, and far ahead of the two Yamahas who struggled all weekend with front end grip.

"It was a difficult weekend" - Rossi

Valentino Rossi, who held onto his title lead of just two points, said he was "lucky to finish the race" in Jerez, after issues with front end grip.

Speaking to, Rossi said:

“[It was a] very difficult weekend and a very difficult race for us... We expected to be stronger, more competitive, especially looking at the results of previous years at Jerez..."

Rossi has struggled in Qualifying all year, but his Sunday performances have covered up his Saturday struggles.This, on top of the Italian's apparent aspirations of having a son, can only lead to a stressful season in more ways than one.

In-season testing will fix these issues, Rossi believes.

This season's title race looks like it will be a real race. 2015's title was fought between Rossi and Lorenzo (with all the controversy that followed that), and Marquez comfortably took last season's championship, but this season looks as tight as ever.