France's Gregory Havret shot a second straight round of 70 and moved one stroke clear at the Trophee Hassan II's halfway point despite finishing with back-to-back bogeys.
Havret had shared the lead with three others after the opening 18 in Morocco and he was the only one of that quartet able to go that low again at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, though he dropped shots at 17 and 18 to ensure his lead is narrow.
Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard, one of the joint leaders after the first round, and Trevor Fisher Jnr are one back while Irishman Paul Dunne, England's James Morrison and Havret's fellow countryman Gregory Bourdy are two off the lead.
Dunne was one of six to break 70 with a four-under-par 69 that was kick-started with a run of eagle-birdie-birdie after the turn. However, consecutive bogeys at 16 and 17 kept him from joining Havret at the top of the leaderboard.
Tom Lewis is in the group at three under having responded to Thursday's 75 with a 68 that was only matched among the field by Benjamin Hebert, who is also three off Havret following a bogey-free second round.
Havret, whose last European Tour success came nine years ago, starts the weekend as the man to catch, a prospect that would look all the more difficult had he not finished on such a low note.
"It's always a bit of a shame to finish like this - bogey, bogey," he said in quotes published on the European Tour's website.
"It's obviously not the best but the rest was pretty good. This course is tough so you can't avoid mistakes all day long.
"So far, so good. I'm quite happy with the way it's been. I know more than anybody probably that the road is still long."