That moved the 34 year old one clear at the summit on five under par, with Spain’s Carlos del Moral shooting one of the rounds of the day - a six under 66 - to move into second place on four under.
Crespi currently sits in 14th place in the Challenge Tour Rankings and, with only the top 15 earning their European Tour cards at the conclusion of next week’s Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club, a good finish at Almouj Golf, The Wave this week could virtually secure his promotion.
The two-time Challenge Tour winner, whose second victory came at the Mugello Tuscany Open in July of this year, credited his accuracy off the tee as the most important factor in shooting such a good round, not to mention the much more favourable morning conditions after a battle in strong winds on day one.
“I had a really good start, making two birdies in the first two holes,” he said. “I was confident with my game. My long game is amazing at the moment and my putting was really good today too.
“I made a couple of mistakes at 16 and 17 but overall I'm happy with this round. Yesterday was very difficult, especially in the last four holes.
“After playing with 40km per hour winds, today is like heaven! It was obviously easier but if you stay on the fairway and stay away from the fairway bunkers you will do well because they are extremely difficult.
“I am playing very well at the moment so I just need to keep going and see what happens. I just need to keep playing my game, hit the centre of the fairway and shoot for the pin when it’s possible.”
Del Moral, meanwhile, carded six birdies in a stunning six under par opening nine, having teed off on the tenth, before two birdies and two bogeys on the way home earned the Spaniard a course record and the chance of a maiden Challenge Tour title.