Clermont returned to the Top 14 summit as they saw off a gritty Brive side, winning 26-21 at Stade Amédée Domenech on Sunday.
Les Jaunards were leading 13-12 at the break thanks to Aurelien Rougerie's try and the boot of Morgan Parra, with Gaetan Germain responding with four penalties off the tee for a Brive side that has been in decent form.
They remain fifth at the end of the weekend but could well have been higher as they moved ahead in the 44th minute thanks to Germain's boot.
But that was the last time they had their noses in front as further points from Parra and Albert Vulivuli's try on the hour mark saw Clermont prevail.
Pen: Germain 7
Tries: Rougerie, Vulivuli
Con: Parra 2
Pen: Parra 4
Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Malakai Bakaniceva, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Benjamin Petre, 11 Guillaume Namy, 10 Matthieu Ugalde, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Said Hireche, 6 Petrus Gherardus Hauman, 5 Peet Marais, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Giorgi Jgenti, 2 Guillaume Ribes, 1 Karlen Asieshvili.
Replacements: 16 Francois Da Ros, 17 Lucas Pointud, 18 Arnaud Mela, 19 Dominiko Waqaniburotukula, 20 Fabien Sanconnie, 21 Nicolas Bezy, 22 Thomas Laranjeira, 23 Damien Jourdain.
Clermont: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Hosea Gear, 11 Adrien Plante, 10 Patricio Fernandez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Camille Gerondeau, 5 Arthur Iturria, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Dan Kotze, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Paul Jedrasiak, 19 Peceli Yato, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Albert Vulivuli, 22 Nick Abendanon, 23 Davit Zirakashvili.
Referee: Jérôme Garcès