Sylvain Guintoli admits that he needs to improve as he prepares to make his first World Superbike Championship appearance at Miller Motorsports Park this weekend.

The French rider has failed to finish inside the top ten in three of the last six races and has yet to make it onto the podium so far this year - although he did set the fastest lap in the second race of the season-opener at Phillip Island.

It means Guintoli sits eleventh in the standings heading to the USA and he admitted that he needs to improve his performance to try and get closer to Suzuki Alstare team-mate Leon Haslam, who takes a 15 point championship lead into the weekend.

"Obviously I need to improve, especially in practice and qualifying and be in a better position on raceday," he said. "I have never been to Miller before, so it will be another new track for me to learn. But it looks less difficult than Kyalami in the last round, so I think I will be able to get on with it much better on the first two days of practice and qualifying and then be on the first two rows of the grid on raceday.

"As I said before, this championship is so competitive that the smallest of errors in qualifying can make a big difference to your grid position come raceday. Starting from way down the gird is never easy, but with so many good riders and good bikes it is almost impossible to get a good result if you begin from the third or fourth row.

"Hopefully, this time I will not be in that position!"