Racing-Métro gave themselves some welcome breathing space from the chasing pack as they defeated Bayonne 12-6 at Stade Jean Dauger.
The result leaves Friday's visitors level on points with third-placed Stade Français and crucially now puts the pressure on the likes of Toulouse and Grenoble, who take on Toulon and Castres respectively on Saturday.
No tries were clocked up in a low-scoring fixture on Friday, however, that struggled to excite as only the boot of Jonathan Sexton and Martin Bustos Moyano troubled the scorers during a first-half that Racing-Métro won 6-3.
Unfortunately for Bayonne, it was a replica of that opening stanza in the second-half on the scoreboard as only another Bustos Moyano penalty was to show for their efforts, with Maxime Machenaud sealing the win off the tee for Racing.
Pen: Bustos Moyano 2
Pen: Sexton 2, Machenaud 2
Bayonne: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Martin Bustos Moyano, 13 Joe Rokocoko, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Christophe Loustalot, 8 Charles Ollivon, 7 Jean Jo Marmouyet, 6 Jean Monribot, 5 Mark Chisholm (c), 4 Pelu Taele, 3 Aretz Iguiniz, 2 Anthony Etrillard, 1 Janse Van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 David Roumieu, 17 Lucas Pointud, 18 Dewald Senekal, 19 Lisiate Fa'aoso, 20 Guillaume Rouet, 21 Matthieu Ugalde, 22 Bastien Fuster, 23 Gert Muller.
Racing-Métro: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Thibault Dubarry, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Juandre Kruger, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (c), 1 Davit Khinchagishvili.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Luke Charteris, 19 Camille Gerondeau, 20 Maxime Machenaud, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Yoan Audrin, 23 Brian Mujati.
Referee: Romain Poite