The 27-year-old Kawasaki rider from Huddersfield is 30.5 points behind Italy’s Max Biaggi and eight clear of BMW’s Marco Melandri.
But Sykes believes that, with 50 points still available from the two races in France, he can still lift his first crown at the end of the weekend.
“I’m going into this weekend feeling very relaxed,” Sykes said. “It is what it is after giving away points during the second Portuguese race at the last round, which was out of our control, but other than that we’ve been fairly strong and consistent all year.
“So my plan is to go to Magny-Cours, do the best we can and see what happens. Mistakes can occur and my plan is not to make any.
“It’s one of those where we have to do the best we can,” he added. “If that means winning the races then fantastic but we’re 30.5 points off the lead so it might take a mistake from Biaggi to open things up. But that’s racing.
“The unpredictability is why we all enjoy it. Winning the championship is definitely still possible.”