Casey Stoner led a front row covered by just 0.1s during an interrupted qualifying session for the Portuguese MotoGP at Estoril, which also saw the second front-row start of the year for Cal Crutchlow.

The session was briefly red-flagged with eleven minutes of the hour remaining following a nasty accident involving CRT riders Randy de Puniet and Colin Edwards.

de Puniet lost the front of his Aprilia, which then slid quickly across the asphalt and wiped out the unsuspecting Edwards, who was off the racing line on an out-lap. de Puniet eventually walked away, but Edwards remained stationary on the edge of the track after landing hard on his left shoulder.

The 38-year-old Texan was carried away on a stretcher during the red flag period. A later update confirmed that he has suffered a broken collarbone and he will therefore miss the race.

World championship leader Jorge Lorenzo was on target for a perfect fifth consecutive Estoril pole at the time of the red flag, but would be left angry after dropping from first to fourth following the restart.

Reigning world champion Stoner was first to topple longtime leader Lorenzo, before Tech 3 Yamaha rider Crutchlow produced a superb final sector to claim pole with six-minutes to go.

But Stoner - out of shape regularly during the session - wasn't to be denied, moving back ahead by 0.1s, with Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa then slotting into second with a lap just 0.013s slower than the Australian.

By contrast Lorenzo was unable to improve, his quickest lap of the afternoon being on lap 10 of 29 - leaving the Spaniard shaking his head in frustration, then making a quick exit to the back of the Yamaha garage.

Lorenzo will be joined on row two by team-mate Ben Spies, who tripped over slower riders on several occasions during the session, and San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista.

Crutchlow's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso set the seventh fastest lap time, with Pramac's Hector Barbera claiming top Ducati honours in eighth (+0.818s).

The Spaniard, whose best lap was his fifth and seemed to be set with a tow, finished 0.053s ahead of struggling factory star Valentino Rossi, whose team-mate Nicky Hayden completed the top ten.

Rookie Stefan Bradl was one-second from pole, in eleventh, with de Puniet's Aspar team-mate Aleix Espargaro twelfth and the top CRT, 2.165s from pole.

Avintia's Ivan Silva produced a massive save during the session, just hanging on to a near highside and then wheelieing as he grappled to get back on the bike, before finally regaining control.

His reward? 21st and last.

Qualifying:

1. Casey Stoner
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Cal Crutchlow
4. Jorge Lorenzo
5. Ben Spies
6. Alvaro Bautista
7. Andrea Dovizioso
8. Hector Barbera
9. Valentino Rossi
10. Nicky Hayden
11. Stefan Bradl
12. Aleix Espargaro
13. Karel Abraham
14. Randy De Puniet
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Michele Pirro
17. Mattia Pasini
18. Colin Edwards
19. James Ellison
20. Danilo Petrucci
21. Ivan Silva

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