Bryan Bouffier will lead the Tour of Corsica into its final two stages, but Jan Kopecky is still on his tail.
The advantage swung between the two drivers throughout the morning, helped by uncertain weather conditions in which stages often featured sun in one section and drizzle in others.
Bouffier grabbed first place from overnight leader Kopecky on the opening Carbuccia stage, then stretched his lead to a seemingly comfortable 19 seconds on Sarrola.
But Kopecky responded on Marato and brought his Skoda back to within 10.7s of Bouffier's Delta Peugeot, despite making an unnerving mistake in a fifth-gear section.
Craig Breen also had an eventful morning.
His hopes of getting back into the lead battle were swiftly dashed when he clipped a bridge parapet and did plenty of cosmetic damage to the rear of his Sainteloc Peugeot, losing half a minute in the process.
That dropped him to fourth behind Stephane Sarrazin's Mini, although he narrowly reclaimed the position by the end of the loop.
Third appears to be the early leader's limit though, as Breen is 1m22.2s behind Bouffier.
Robert Kubica did not restart the rally for leg two after his Friday retirement.
Leading positions after SS9:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Bryan Bouffier Delta Peugeot 2h12m23.3s
2. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 10.7s
3. Craig Breen Sainteloc Peugeot + 1m22.2s
4. Stephane Sarrazin First Mini + 1m22.8s
5. Francois Delecour Kronos Peugeot + 2m45.4s
6. Julien Maurin Ford + 3m07.6s
7. Jean-Mathieu Leandri Sainteloc Peugeot + 5m58.8s
8. Andreas Aigner Stohl Subaru + 6m21.1s
9. Germain Bonnefis Renault + 7m15.4s
10. Daniel Oliveira Brazil Ford + 7m30.3s