Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa admits he needs to make a step forward to throw himself into the podium mix as he prepares for this weekend's third round of the MotoGP World Championship in Austin, Texas.

Pedrosa was gifted a podium finish in Argentina after both factory Ducati riders crashed out on the final lap an admits he needs to find something extra with the RC213V to be regularly challenging for the top three.

The Spanish rider lies third in the championship standings after the opening two rounds and makes his return to the Circuit of the Americas after missing the event in 2015, when he had undergone surgery for arm pump and was replaced by HRC test rider Hiroshi Aoyama.

Pedrosa, runner-up in Austin in 2013 and 2014, said: "I'm looking forward to this round. There's something special about the atmosphere of the American races, and besides, this is a track that I like very much.

"I didn't make it here last year, but I made the podium the previous two seasons so the memories of the track are good.

"Our pace in the first two rounds hasn't been as good as we would've liked, and we absolutely need to keep working to find some more speed," he added.

"All in all, we're third in the championship, and we need to make a step forward if we want to fight for the podium at every race."