World champion Sebastien Ogier climbed from fifth to take the lead of the Rally Italia Sardegna in testing conditions ahead of title rival Thierry Neuville.

The M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC driver made his move during stage six, when he gained 12.2 seconds to soar up the standings.

Ogier finished Friday's ninth stage with an 18.9 second advantage over Belgian Neuville, with Jari-Matti Latvala in third and Esapekka Lappi fourth.

Waterford man Craig Breen is in seventh place, 1 minute and 26 seconds behind Ogier.

Andreas Mikkelsen, though, was forced to retire his Hyundai during stage seven, while Ott Tanak's Toyota was also not able to continue after taking damage to the front during the final stage.

World Rally Championship leader Neuville could have also seen his challenge ended after taking the rear wing off his Hyundai during a wide run on stage nine, which cost him almost 10 seconds.